Good Ass Game Alert: Manu Giveth, and Manu Taketh Away

 

Random takeaways from rewatching this Spurs classic:

 

  • Really loved the assortment on role players on both sides. Carl Landry, Jarrett Jack (used to kill the Jayhawks when he played for Georgia Tech), David Lee, and Harrison Barnes on Golden State. For the Spurs, you had DeJuan Blair, Danny Green, Boris Diaw, and I liked Gary Neal enough.
  • This playoff run gave us a glimpse of what was to come for Golden State. Even though San Antonio knocked them out of the playoffs this round, the Warriors gave the Spurs all that they could handle (and arguably outplayed them outside of a couple of endgame scenarios that were costly). Golden State was ascending and San Antonio had plateaued as a dynasty, reaching the Finals the next two years, but leveling off the following six seasons. Warriors would beat the Spurs handily the next two times they’d face each other in the playoffs.
  • Warriors were a really scrappy bunch with Draymond Green coming onto the floor as an energy guy. You can already see the chemistry developing between he, Steph and Klay when the three of them are on the court together. At the time, it seemed like Harrison Barnes was knocking on the door of being a top player at his position. It is fascinating to watch an emerging dynasty in the works. The team had yet to pick up Shaun Livingston, Andre Iguodala, David West, or Mo Speights. The Warriors weren’t quite the destination team yet, but you can see the nuts and bolts of the squad coming together during that run.
  • Watching this 2013 Spurs team is tough knowing what is ahead for them down the road. If you put that roster side by side with the championship team from the following year, its easy to understand why they couldn’t get the job done against the Heat during the Finals. Outside of Duncan, Ginobili, Matt Bonner, and Parker, no one on that team had been to an NBA Finals (which makes you wonder if they could’ve used Stephen Jackson who was cut right before the playoffs that year). The team lost Blair the next season, and Gary Neal, replacing them with Jeff Ayres and Marco Belinelli. Plus all those role players who’d lost in the Finals the year before were back and better prepared for challenge. It is also worth mentioning that the 2014 Heat were on their last leg having been to four Finals in a row with a core of slow aging veterans.
  • This game reaches its competitive peak in the 3rd, 4th, and second overtime periods. Steph Curry went on one of his epic third quarter runs that were still a novelty; scoring 14 points in 3 minutes (22 in the third quarter). Unfortunately for the Warriors their inability to finish the quarter would ultimately cost them. The Spurs went on an 8-2 run during the final 35 seconds that started with a Ginobili and 1 layup, then a Danny Green 3 pointer, and finally, a careless inbound violation by Curry, that was followed a silly foul by Jarrett Jack; which led to two free throws by Gary Neal.
  • The real turning point of the game came in the 4th quarter at the 3:51 mark when Tony Parker fouled out Klay Thompson on a baseline drive towards the basket. With Tim Duncan in the locker room battling the flu, it seemed like it was all but wrapped up for Golden State. Even Chris Webber says at the time, “luckily they won’t need him the rest of the game.” This is when “shit got real” for the young Dubs.
  • Down by 16, and less than 4 minutes left in the game, Tony Parker put the team on his back for an  18 to 2 run, and the Warriors shot themselves in the foot with every following possession–only scoring on a Jarrett Jack jumper with 29 ticks left in the game.
  • The Danny Green game tying three was the result of a well designed play by five individuals executing their roles with perfection.1)After the timeout, Coach Popovich elects to take out ball by the Spurs bench at full court instead of at half court giving the Boris Diaw room to inbound the ball to Tony Parker. 2) Parker brings the ball up the court– letting it roll til Draymond Green comes forward to make him pick up the ball. 3)Parker then passes it at midcourt to Diaw, who does a dribble handoff to Manu Ginobili, who releases from defender Harrison Barnes from the wing to the top of key to become primary ballhandler. 4)At the same time, Danny Green goes from the top 3 point corner to sets a pick for Kawhi Leonard (who started on the left block then shifts to right block) on Jarret Jack. 5) Kawhi dives toward paint moving back to left block on a defensive switch by Golden State and now has Steph Curry is guarding him.6) Diaw screens his man , Harrison Barnes, out on the wing after realizing he doesn’t need to run to set a baseline pick on Jarret Jack who due to a miscommunication on a switch with Steph Curry, is caught in no man’s land, and  leaves Danny Green free to roam along the baseline towards the 3 point line where 7) he catches a perfect pass from Manu Ginobili for a wide open, catch and shoot, game tying 3 pointer
  • The Warriors bench which at one point was going nuts during the Steph Curry 3rd quarter run, now looked shook. To the Warriors credit, they managed to regain their composure in the 2nd overtime and still almost stole victory from the jaws of defeat. I honestly saw enough to believe the snafu that left Ginobili open for the game winning three pointer would not have happened with Draymond Green on the court, but unfortunately for the Dubs, he’d fouled out earlier just a few minutes into overtime.
  •  

    Give it up for the assistants in the game, Mike Malone, Mike Budenholzer and Bret Brown. All three would go on to be head coaches very very soon, and for now still all have jobs with–playoffs teams– the Nuggets, Bucks and Sixers.

 

I watched this game live at an Austin bar down on Red River and was the only one paying attention as the sound was off and some singer songwriter was playing her depressing music on acoustic guitar. My ill fitting and inappropriate yells, moans, and guffaws elicited some nasty looks from the other patrons, but I couldn’t contain myself during the second half and overtime portions of the game.

It was a different experience being able to listen to the announcers and stop the feed an replay different segments of the game to my heart’s content. I can’t describe the buzz I had that night of the game replaying that Ginobili shot over and over again in my head. Of all the most improbable comebacks, this was the craziest I’d seen outside of the Duke vs Maryland, “10 points in one minute game.” It didn’t look good for San Antonio, and somehow they still pulled it out.

I would be fortunate enough to see the Spurs clinch this series in person at the famed Oracle arena and it was quite the experience. The year before, I was in Oklahoma to watch the Thunder knock San Antonio out of the playoffs during the Western Conference Finals, and so it seemed fitting to be in Oakland to see them take care of the Warriors. Warriors fans joy was infectious and walking out of the arena that night, I felt bad for them. I’d lived in Oakland during the “We Believe” era that already seemed like ancient history. At the time I didn’t know that this was a team still on the horizon and that their playoff runs were just beginning. Of course, this also meant that the Spurs were a team that was already on the decline, but no one had time to think about that. Their run was still ongoing.

 

 

BM

 

 

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Bobby Mickey is the alter ego of writer and poet Edward Austin Robertson. When he isn’t involved in some basketball related activity, actively looking for parties to deejay or venues to perform comedy, he can be found in the KDVS studios making on air playlists. For booking inquiries, send contact info to thisagoodassgame@gmail.com

Good Ass Game Alert

 

Random thoughts from watching this game:

  • This game illustrates how silly the Draymond Green/Charles Barkley comparisons sound. If anything, maybe Green should be referred to as the Dennis Rodman remix? The various ways that Chuck scores buckets and dominates this game could never be duplicated by Draymond (even in today’s NBA). I would argue that from about 1992-1994, Chuck was the second best player in the world.
  • I just realized from watching this game (for the first time ever–didn’t have cable until the following season) that I actually saw these Warriors in person that season when they played the Mavericks in Dallas. I was obsessed with Chris Webber so I wore my blue Warriors Webber road jersey (with shaved head of course). I was such a novice back then that I didn’t realize that Latrell Sprewell and Chris Mullin were also on that team. I saw Mullin and Sprewell play in person and did not even remember until yesterday when I watched this game. Kind of sad, huh?
  • Speaking of, my two favorite NBA players at this time were actually Webber and Barkley. Despite my height, I would work on my post moves and picked up my bassline spin move off the right shoulder from watching both players.
  • Hard to think of a better time to be in the Bay–especially in Oakland: 1994 was the peak of the golden era of Bay Area hip hop, the A”s were still near the top of the AL West division in baseball, and the Warriors were still exciting despite breaking up Run TMC. Its also nice to see Warriors fans back the Oracle was still lit.
  • Seeing Gregg Popovich on the bench as an assistant coach with Donnie and Don Nelson was kind of mind blowing considering what lay in store for the three of them down in Texas–along with backup point guard Avery Johnson. Makes you realize how small of a world the NBA really is.
  • Lastly, It was fun watching peak Chris Mullin again. It would only be a couple seasons later when Mullin would go on to play with another Fab Five member, Jalen Rose, at Indiana–for those of you who like random trivia.

 

Don’t let the final score fool you. This was a good ass game and very entertaining with lots of good runs. Its worth the sit down. Trust me.

 

BM

 

IMG_0515 (2)

Bobby Mickey is the alter ego of writer and poet Edward Austin Robertson. When he isn’t involved in some basketball related activity, actively looking for parties to deejay or venues to perform comedy, he can be found in the KDVS studios making on air playlists. For booking inquiries, send contact info to thisagoodassgame@gmail.com

 

 

Clicks to Pick Week of 11/27/17

Monday

 

Cleveland at Philadelphia (Good Ass Game of The Week)

A lot of star power in this one. I think the 76ers can give them some run.

 

Tuesday

No Good Ass Games Scheduled

Wednesday 

 

No Good Ass Games Scheduled

 

Thursday

 

Milwaukee at Portland

Blazers fans are going to enjoy this one. Shout outs to Rob the Free Throw Guy. I always enjoyed his behind the basket antics– even if Wes Matthews wasn’t feeling it. I’d like to see a fake 30 for 30 short done on that cat. He was kind of a thing for a while.

 

Friday

 

San Antonio at Memphis

No Kawhi (bruised quad). No Conley (sore achilles). But maybe we’ll see a healthy Tony Parker in this one.

Minnesota at Oklahoma City

The last couple of games have been beautiful stretches of athletic basketball.

Saturday

 

New Orleans at Portland

Finally going to see down and watch the Blazers play this year. In an article this past week, Jusuf Nurkic was quoted as saying that he is the best big man in the league. I would like to believe that he was misquoted,  and that Sports Illustrated forgot to add “besides Joel Embiid and Demarcus Cousins,” in the text. Although I just looked up his salary for the year, and the Blazers are getting him for a steal (wish I could say the same for the Evan Turner and Allen Crabbe contracts).

Sunday

San Antonio at Oklahoma City

Spurs keep chugging along. Tony Parker is supposed to see some game action on Monday. Still no word on Kawhi Leonard yet; is it time for Spurs fans to panic? Hell no, but coach Popovich says he has never seen an injury quite like the one Kawhi currently has. Stay tuned.

 

 

 

profile pic b mick  Bobby Mickey is the alter ego of writer and poet Edward Austin Robertson. When he isn’t involved in some basketball related activity, actively looking for parties to deejay or venues to perform comedy, he can be found recording podcasts with Craig Stein at Fullsass Studios. Follow him on twitter @goodassgame. For booking inquiries, send contact info to thisagoodassgame@gmail.com. 

 

 

Clicks to Pick Week of 11/20/17

Monday

 

Los Angeles Clippers at New York    League Pass

Anytime you can catch a marquee game at Madison Square Garden with the Knicks feed, I suggest you do it. The commentary duo of Mike Breen and Clyde Frazier is unmatched.

Washington at Milwaukee                     League Pass

John Wall vs the Nigerian Natural #getsome

Oklahoma City at New Orleans            League Pass

New Orleans has been an entertaining team to watch, and they just got Rondo back. Ojo!!!!!!

Cleveland at Detroit                               League Pass

Detroit may be the biggest surprise of the season. I didn’t even have them making the playoffs, but they are off to a good start. They don’t have a single superstar on that team, but they are doing their thing. Stan Van Gundy might get Coach of the Year for his efforts with this squad. This feels like a trap game for the Lebrons.

Tuesday

No Good Ass Games Scheduled

 

Wednesday

Golden State at Oklahoma City (Good Ass Game of the Week)  ESPN

Great read by Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher about Seattle losing the Sonics and how that shaped Kevin Durant’s decision to eventually leave Oklahoma City.

San Antonio at New Orleans   

If you like watching big men who pass well, then this is the game for you.

Thursday

No Good Ass Games Scheduled

Friday

No Good Ass Games Scheduled

Saturday

 

New Orleans  at Golden State      League Pass

New Orleans will keep this close, but the Warriors offense is like a dormant herpes colony: You don’t know when it will erupt, but its an explosive display whenever it happens. Don’t get gassed up on last week’s game against Boston. They’d be lucky to win two games in a first to seven series.

Sunday

No Good Ass Games Scheduled

 

 

profile pic b mick  Bobby Mickey is the alter ego of writer and poet Edward Austin Robertson. When he isn’t involved in some basketball related activity, actively looking for parties to deejay or venues to perform comedy, he can be found recording podcasts with Craig Stein at Fullsass Studios. Follow him on twitter @goodassgame. For booking inquiries, send contact info to thisagoodassgame@gmail.com. 

 

Clicks to Pick week of 11/13/17

 

Monday

Cleveland at New York   League Pass or VIP Box

Lebron comes to Manhattan after sneak dissing the Knicks’ front office Saturday night, saying they should have taken Dennis Smith Jr.

Memphis at Milwaukee  League Pass or VIP Box

With the acquisition of Eric Bledsoe, the Bucks have gone from cute League Pass sensations to a legit concern for the rest of the Eastern Conference. It took Giannis 24 shots to get 28 points, but he affected Friday night’s game against the Spurs in so many ways. Also his breakaway 360 dunk was such a thing of beauty that it put me in tears.

Tuesday

No Good Ass NBA games on the docket, but the NCAA got some big time college games going if you’re bored. I won’t tell you who is playing because fuck the NCAA.

Wednesday

San Antonio at Minnesota League Pass or VIP Box

A team can only get so far with a bunch of role players and no superstar. Against the Bucks, they were within 2 points during the final 2 minutes of the ballgame and couldn’t get a bucket from anyone. Winning time is the point of the game where teams need their superstars to make plays, and this is where they miss Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker the most. The team just fell apart during the 4th quarter against Golden State a couple of weeks ago, but the good news is that the Calvary is on its way (right?).

Don’t panic Spurs fans. As of today, the Spurs are on pace to go 49-33 for the season, and that is without Kawhi or Tony. Everyone has raised their game over the off-season.

Pau Gasol and Lamarcus Aldridge seem a little more relaxed this season, and more comfortable in the system. Kyle Anderson has stepped up his level of play this season, and suddenly Danny Green has handles and a pull up jumper. Rudy Gay looks like he is fully healed from his Achilles injury.

Brandon Paul looks to be the second coming of Jonathan Simmons, and Bryn Forbes has become this season’s version of Cory Joseph. Dejounte Murray is playing exactly what you would expect of a second year point guard (which is inconsistent). It is a long season Spurs fans. You just gotta hang in there a little bit longer (right????).

Meanwhile, the Timberwolves are ranked 27th in the league in defensive rating after finishing 26th in the NBA last season. Surprisingly, it isn’t offense that is their biggest problem; something I would not have expected to see from a Tom Thibodeau coached squad.

 

Thursday

Golden State at Boston (Good Ass Game of the Week)   TNT

If you are wondering why the Warriors at times look so much more dominant this season compared to last year, consider their bench: Nick Young replaced Ian Clark. Omri Casspi replaced Matt  “The Barber” Barnes (because he be handing out fades), and Jordan Bell replaced James Michael McAdoo.

Friday

Oklahoma City at San Antonio     ESPN

The concerns that surrounded the Thunder going into this season are real. Their bench is thin. Billy Donovan has done nothing to distinguish himself as an elite NBA coach, and their three superstars have yet to find a rhythm. But you know what? It is still pretty early, and the Jazz just lost their best defensive player for 4-6 weeks. The Timberwolves, Grizzlies, and Blazers are falling back to earth themselves. Don’t bet on the Thunder missing the playoffs just yet folks.

New Orleans at Denver                   ESPN

Saturday

Golden State at Philadelphia  League Pass or VIP BOX

Joel Embiid had himself a rough week. Willie Cauley-Stein put the clamps on Embiid, and though he still got 22 points and 15 rebounds against “Trilly” Cauley, it didn’t come easy. Last night against the Warriors, Embiid scored 12 points on 11 shots, and had 7 turnovers;posting an overall minus nine (-9) for the evening. Still, both teams put on a passing clinic, and was one of the more entertaining blowouts, you’ll see 2 teams play in the NBA.

 

Sunday

No Good Ass Games on the Schedule

 

 

profile pic b mick  Bobby Mickey is the alter ego of writer and poet Edward Austin Robertson. When he isn’t involved in some basketball related activity, actively looking for parties to deejay or venues to perform comedy, he can be found recording podcasts with Craig Stein at Fullsass Studios. Follow him on twitter @goodassgame. For booking inquiries, send contact info to thisagoodassgame@gmail.com. 

Clicks to Pick Week of 10/15/17

*Illustration by Louis Eastman

 

Monday

 

No Good Ass Games Scheduled

 

Tuesday

 

Boston at Cleveland

Houston at Golden State

 

Wednesday

 

Philadelphia at Washington

 

Thursday

 

Clippers vs Lakers

 

Friday

Cleveland at Milwaukee

Boston at Philadelphia

 

Saturday

 

No Good Ass Games Scheduled

 

Sunday

 

Minnesota at Oklahoma City (Good Ass Game of The Week)

 

 

 

profile pic b mick  Bobby Mickey is the alter ego of writer and poet Edward Austin Robertson. When he isn’t involved in some basketball related activity, actively looking for parties to deejay or venues to perform comedy, he can be found recording podcasts with Craig Stein at Fullsass Studios. Follow him on twitter @goodassgame. For booking inquiries, send contact info to thisagoodassgame@gmail.com.