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Posts Tagged ‘Manu Ginobili’

The Mavs are a team that’s rolling in hot and heavy and streaking. This Mavs team is possibly the best playoff-built team Cuban has ever put together…and it will be tough for the Spurs to get past them. But it is smack-dab in the middle of the realm of possibility to do so for San Antonio.

Provided certain keys to the matchup be kept by Popovich and crew:

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1. Exploit Jason Kidd’s Defense

There is no better facilitator in the NBA outside of Steve Nash than this man right here. You can’t give him the open three anymore, you can’t afford to let him post up your smaller guard, and you can’t forget to box him out, always.

But (Steve Nash comparison still relevant), there is no slower, poorer defender at the guard position (outside of Aaron Brooks. Shout-out to my boy, George Hill! M.I.P., baby!) uhh anyway, yeah, Kidd sucks at defense now. He never was Payton-level in his prime anyway. (Gary Payton was the best point guard of the past 20 years. Hands down. No competition. Payton was Chris Paul, Jason Kidd, Tyreke Evans, and George Hill’s defense all rolled into one super point guard. Ridonkulous.)

Exploit. Exploit. Exploit. Make Kidd not want to play offense ‘cos of how badly he’s getting straight-up BURNED on defense.

2. Contain Caron Butler/Shawn Marion

Bruce Bowen made Shawn Marion comparable stat-wise to Matt Bonner for the years that the Spurs dominated the Suns in the past. Those Suns should have made it to at least one Finals. But they didn’t. Why? Because Bruce Bowen contained Shawn Marion. That’s why. And this time, neither Caron Butler nor Shawn Marion can be allowed to dominate.

This job will go to committee, largely led by Richard Jefferson. (The real committee defense will be reserved solely for Mr. Dirk Nowitzki.) Dick best play his ass off here. It’s our best shot at stealing this series. (Yes, over-confident Spurs fans, I said “steal.”)

Help me, Richard Jefferson Kenobi. You’re my only hope.

3. Tim Duncan…uhh…yeah…sorry to ask you to do this again…at your age…but hey…man…dude, can you like…ummm…dominate the other teams this playoffs? One more time? For old time’s sake?? Pleeeeeassse?

Yes.

4. Manu…uhhh…yeah… (ditto)

Si.

5. Popovich…uhh…yeahhhh….can you use more common sense and…yeah, we can forget about your mental-block you’ve shown against Dallas in the past. But this is a new time, man. You can do this. Say it with me now…COACH TO WIN. Not, not to lose. We’re the San Antonio Muthafuckin’ Spurs. You are a Badass. Duncan is a badass. Tony, too. And Manu is the epitome and the alpha and the omega of Baddassery.

Do it.

(Jason Terry is a loser, I heard. On the streets. Of Compton. Where Dre is from. AND South Central LA. Where Jurassic Five are from. AND the LBC. Where Snoop is from. Yeah. A LOSER. Terry. Jason Terry-cloth. HA!)

Song of the Day:

Jay-Z – “Roc Boys (Remix)”

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All right, after my 2200-word post about the Spurs, I feel a need to write more about them. This one will be about my favorite player in the NBA, Manu Ginobili.

manu-hulk-impression

Tim Duncan may be the player I respect most on the team (and the league), and it feels like Tony Parker is my really talented kid brother or something (even though he’s older than me), but Manu…he’s the guy I look up to the most. I want him to succeed so badly because he wants to succeed more than anything else. Everything he does on the court is driven by a pure desire to win…for his team to win. I’d even say his drive is on par with the one and only Michael Jordan.

He has the drive, but he hasn’t been blessed with the genes. He doesn’t have the 6’8″ 274(!) lb frame of Lebron. He doesn’t have the 50-foot vertical of Vince Carter.

You know what? My friends over at PtR (they’re not really my friends) wrote an awesome post about this guy a few months ago, after the Spurs were eliminated by the Lakers in the Western Conference Finals. It was inspiring. It brought tears to my eyes. And I’ll quote from it right now: (more…)

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(Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE/Getty Images)  It’s okay Tim, you’re still the best player of the past decade…and counting

This week, my San Antonio Spurs lost in the Western Conference Finals to the Los Angeles Lakers. Yes, I was thoroughly disappointed and am just now recovered enough to write a post about it…partly as therapy. I need to sort out this rollercoaster-ride of a season for myself no matter how many paragraphs it takes.

(more…)

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Whooo! Happy Valentine’s Day! Yeah…umm…now that that’s out of the way, I’m getting to my post. I spent my V-day watching game recordings of Manu Ginobili channeling His Airness while scoring 34 and 46 points in two incredibly efficient games in a row this past week. And now I’m blogging. I wish I had some chocolates and a teddy bear to keep me company.

But anyways, I feel like telling a story. This is a story I’ve told a few people already. First, let me start off by stating that Back to the Future is, in my opinion, one of the crowning achievements in the history of cinema. Okay…the inclusion of “crowning” may be debatable in that last sentence….No! That sentence is perfect just the way it is.

I watched the films in my childhood and even at that young age, I knew the third one sucked. Okay, I didn’t/don’t think it was that bad. It was all right — just a bit too lengthy and bland for a little kid. I found the second one dark and kind of scary, even though the hoverboards, self-drying jackets, and automatic-fit sneakers were very cool. But of course, the first film in the series was my, and many others’, clear-cut favorite. It has that perfect combination of fun, wonder, and excitement.

It also has this gem of a scene in it, which has Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) playing in a band at his parents’ high school prom:

“Chuck, Chuck! It’s Marvin…your cousin, Marrr-vin Berry! You know that new sound you’re lookin’ for? Well, listen to this!”

This scene made me want to become a rock star…or at least learn how to use the main instrument of the Rock Star. So, after seeing the movie several more times over and over again, as kids are wont to do, I asked my mother if I could learn to play the guitar. Being a typical Asian mother who had already succeeded in getting both of her sons started on the piano, which every good little Asian child knows how to play (I wanted very much to play the piano though, making it easier for her), playing the electric guitar and trying to become a rock star was probably the last thing on her list of things her children should learn to do. It was probably right next to “getting grades that don’t start with ‘A'” and “exhibiting rebellious behavior” on the bottom of that list. But, surprisingly, she consented quite readily to my request.

After I watched Back to the Future several more times in my excitement and anticipation, we finally made that trip to the local music store to set up what would be my first guitar lesson. I was thrilled…until my mother gave me the sad news that I was too small for a regular guitar, and that they unfortunately didn’t make guitars small enough for me. But she soon conveniently discovered that they did have multiple sizes for the violin. She made sure to mention how after a few years of violin lessons, I would be able to smoothly translate my skills to the guitar, which I would be big enough for by then — since, you know, they both have strings, making them basically the same instrument. Oh man…my mom was a clever lady.

Not knowing that most of what I heard was completely made up, I promptly signed up for violin lessons. Hey, if this was the path I had to take to being able to play “Johnny B. Goode” like Marty McFly, then so be it, right? I didn’t hate the violin or anything either.

I eventually discovered that I had been jipped and conned. They do make small guitars that little boys could learn on…and knowing how to play the violin gets you absolutely nowhere on the guitar. And what happened when I finally got “big enough” for the guitar five years later? My loving mother affectionately pointed out that I couldn’t quit because I had made her pour money into my lessons for the past handful of years, and by quiting I would be throwing away all of the money and time that was spent on the violin. So my last few years on the instrument were absolute hell until I just refused to play the thing at all.

In my later years of high school, I finally convinced my mother to let me take guitar lessons. (I needed a way to pay for the lessons.) I found a surprisingly nice acoustic guitar at Costco and set out for my first lesson… except I wasn’t aware my mom was only going to pay for the lessons under one condition: I was to learn classical guitar. No rockin’ power chords. No cool full-armed rock-star strumming. My lessons would be filled with chromatic scales and intricate finger picking sessions. After about two months of boredom, I quit. I still have the guitar though. It’s sitting in its nylon zip-up case behind my door. I haven’t even taken it out in close to two years. I don’t remember exactly when I last played it.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m thankful for even getting to learn the violin. I don’t resent it…okay, I hated that instrument. (Oddly, I really like listening to the violin though.) I have since realized that my mom only wanted the best for me in my life…she just wanted it a little too much most of the time.

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Have you seen Knocked Up? If you haven’t, you should definitely check it out. Like now. It is amazingly hilarious. It has one of the funniest references to Back to the Future:


“I’m gonna throw you in my Deloreon, gun it to 88.”

And while we’re on the topic of films, I want to mention that I finally saw Closer last week. I had been meaning to see it for a while and I just hadn’t gotten around to it. The acting really is superb. All four members of the ensemble cast brilliantly play the hell out of their characters — and brutally and throughly intertwine, tangle, and crash into each other throughout the film. I don’t mean to just pick on the youngest one but if there is a weak link, it’d be Natalie Portman, and she really only stumbles once or twice. Thinking about the film in light of today’s great holiday, I’ve actually never been more thankful of my current relationship status.

Songs of the Day:

Outkast – “Happy Valentine’s Day” / (album link)
Chuck Berry – “Johnny B. Goode” / (album link)
Damien Rice – “The Blower’s Daughter” / (album link) — Rice’s music is featured and utilized well in Closer

*****

“When this baby hits 88 miles per hour, you’re gonna see some serious shit.”

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I said my first post on here would be about the San Antonio Spurs, so here it is, even if it bores you (or annoys/angers you).

There has been much talk in the media about whether or not the Spurs are a dynasty.

On one side you have the people who say they should be considered a dynasty based on their 4 championships in 9 years, which is more than all but 3 franchises: the Celtics, Lakers, and MJ “the GOAT”-led Bulls. They also point out the Spurs successful run over the past decade (most successful in the past 10 years out of any team in the 4 major sports).
On the other side, you have those who say the Spurs are not a dynasty because they have failed to do what all the dynasties have done: win consecutive championships. The Spurs have made a habit of winning ‘chips in only odd-numbered years and have failed to defend their title every single time.

As with all things, context is of importance here. I think that in this case, context is VERY important. And after the context is taken into proper account, a decision can be made.

Even if they haven’t won consecutive championships, who says that is a prerequisite for being considered a “dynasty”? As a fan of a beloved sports franchise in ANY city, in ANY sport, if I had a choice between winning 3 straight and blowing up into oblivion, a la the Lakers of the 2000’s (whose dynasty-status is also debatable. I was referring to the Magic-led Lakers of the 80’s earlier), or winning, for the most part, every other year for 9 years while being legitimate championship contenders every year in between, save but one season….as a fan, I would choose the latter without hesitation! I love the fact that I am able to carry the hope year in and year out of the Spurs winning it all — and having that hope be concretely realistic and not delusional.

And yes…the ideal team wouldn’t force you to choose between the two (a brilliant burst of 3 short years or a sustained excellence of 10 years) and instead give their fans all they could dream of, like the Celtics and Showtime Lakers or the MJ Bulls of the 90’s. Although, it should be pointed out, those 80’s Lakers kind of did the alternating pattern like the Spurs…except…they made it to the finals those other “off” years

But, as mentioned by a few sportswriters and fans, in this era of free agency and salary caps? In this era where it’s so difficult to find players who would put the TEAM and winning before contracts and personal glory? In this era where it’s difficult to pay players enough and keep them while staying under the salary cap, even if the players have relatively good attitudes? To be able to be legitimate contenders for the championship, if not the champions, for an entire decade in this era of the NBA is truly incredible. There is no doubt in my mind that this Spurs team we have in front of us is a dynasty.

We Spurs fans really have it great. It is such a great decade to be a Spurs fan–and it looks like it will continue to be a great time for at least a handful more years, championship or no championship. What this Spurs team has done, what it will continue to do for at least a few more years, put in the context of the current era of the NBA, is deserving of a spot by the DYNASTIES of the 80’s Lakers or 90’s Bulls. (That Celtics run from ’57-’86, no matter what you say about the number of teams, era, whatever, seems pretty untouchable.)

But seriously, I don’t think people will realize or appreciate this fact until a decade or two down the road…and that’s a shame. I for one will choose to recognize and appreciate this fact RIGHT NOW!

I love these Spurs. Not to mention these guys are classy, intelligent, well-spoken, and talented. People who say otherwise need to spend some time in San Antonio (my former home) where these guys get much more exposure and are able to be seen for who they really are: DYNASTIC CHAMPIONS (ha!) as people, role models, as an organization, and as a superb basketball team.

Song of the Day:

Queen – “We Are the Champions”

2007 Champs

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