Monday, May 14, 2007

Back in Action

There was a flurry of activity in the comments after Henry threw up a late update on True Hoop and linked to my theories about the Spurs. Sorry I wasn't around to respond to them, but I was out of town and seperated from my trusty laptop. Just finished watching Game Three of Spurs-Suns, which turned out to be a cruel prank, because after managing to avoid all info about the game until 2:00 (PST) today, I thought I saw a bracket with the words "Suns 2-1" while at the airport. While I was dismayed to learn the outcome, I was happy that the Suns won. (Note: I'm not a Suns fan, but I think a Phoenix title is vital for the future of professional basketball.) It turns out, I need to get my eyes checked. I kept thinking "boy this is going to be an amazing comeback" until suddenly I realized I had read the screen wrong. Whoops. That was quite the kick in the teeth. Then I watched Utah win a stunning Game Four in Oakland. I'm telling you, the Jazz are good and they have some real magic working right now.

I'm glad to be back and on the playoff beat again starting tomorrow.


Anonymous said...

Get it going again! This has been some of the more interesting commentary during the playoffs. Sure there is the usual "Baron was good!" or "the Bulls can't score inside" type of observation, but some of this stuff is wholly unique to this blog. And that isn't easy in this day and age.

Oh, but why is it "vital" to the NBA that the Suns win the title? If teams are copying them and the pace is picking up, isn't that enough?

Anonymous said...

Wow a person who favors the suns style of basketball, and dislikes the Spurs is complaining about the refs. Im shocked. Im also curious in your little study of game 2, you never adressed illegal moving screens, which the Suns use on every play. If your going to complain that handchecking should be enforced by the rule book standards, you have to do the same for everything else. Of course you dont because of your anti-defense viewpoint

Adam Hoff said...

The last time I saw a moving screen called by the letter was when Yao Ming got nailed for approximately 1,415 of them in that series against Dallas in 2005 (when Beetlejuice racked up the 100K fine). On the other hand, handchecking has been called all year and all during the postseason last year. It is the most marked change in the way the refs are calling the game.

I don't care for picks when the guy actually steps out and clips someone (Kurt Thomas and Duncan are the leaders in that clubhouse, for this series), but when Amare runs up, brushes a guy, and then keeps running ... that's never going to be called and it doesn't even really obstruct the defender. So I'm not exactly shamed by that point.

And I'm not antidefense, I'm anti "basketball as a collision sport." Contact is fine, collision blows. And as long as the myth persists that "defense wins titles" and as long as "defense" is "physical," basketball will continue to run the risk of being like it was in the late 90's when it was completely unwatchable. Give me Showtime and the 80's Celtics over 90's Heat/Knicks. I feel Phoenix gives us our best chance at Showtime era hoops. That's all.

And I'm not complaining about the refs. Just stating my opinion of what I observe and then theorizing possible explanations. If you read the key post, you would see that I actually credit the Spurs for any officiating advantage.

Anonymous said...

The suns are far worst at setting moving screens than other teams. You ignore this because of your bias in favor of fast break ball. Nothing more nothing less. LOL at you stating your not complaining about the refs

Adam Hoff said...

I love talking to people named anonymous. Sign of the times.

Hey, to each his own. If you read the posts and still think I'm complaining about the efficials re: the Spurs, more power to you. I will admit I complain about NBA officials in general, but only because they are horrific. We need coach challenges or laser sensors or six-man teams or something. These guys can't keep up with the action and ruin a large percentage of the games. Period.

No Name Face said...

Wow, anonymous, why don't you just call yourself 'San Antonio Spurs Fan (who got neglected as a child)'.

Give it up.

Eric said...


First time on your blog. I think that you bring up some great points regarding the Spurs. The only thing that I don't get is why the league finds it so hard to suspend or fine a Spur (Bowen), when they went so hard after Kobe Bryant this year.

Woj said...

Heh... your post reminds me of the other night: My Dad put on the Holyfield-Foreman fight from `91 (I believe) and insisted for about the first ten rounds that Foreman won by knockout, and talking about how dumb Holyfield was to not just stay away from him... and then in the 12th he suddenly realized Holyfield won by decision and the look on his face was priceless.

Adam Hoff said...

I am absolutely CERTAIN I had that look on my face. Great story.

Anonymous, I apologize for the overzealous reader accusing you of not being nurtured enough when young. I don't share that sentiment!

As for the Bowen/Kobe thing, I have no idea. And I think it is further proof that we have to look beyond "conspiracy" when we try to figure out why these things happen (if they do). You don't have to agree that the Spurs get more calls and if you read some of the comments below, there are plenty of people who don't. But if you do think that - which is at least a fairly reasonable and, I don't think, altogether hateful stance - then there has to be a "why." Why would they get more calls? Why would Kobe get suspended and not Bowen? Surely the NBA doesn't have some secret file that shows that San Antonio is the one market most key to economic viability or TV ratings. So it can't be some David Stern directive. There have to be other reasons. Systematic reasons are the best I could do on the Spurs as a whole (and again, the conclusion is that this is a fairly positive result, albeit a slightly weird one), but I have NO idea on the Bowen/Kobe thing. My buddy Jack, a contributor to this sight and big Lakers fan, just thinks the world has it out for Kobe. So maybe that's it. Or maybe Bowen has YouTube footage of David Stern crapping in a hot tub.

RMH said...

Wow. After your analysis of game 2, check out Saturday's game; it has to be Spurs +1000. Obviously, an exaggeration, but Bowen fouls Nash 3-4 times on every possession (not an exaggeration). Tim Duncan, on the same hand, gets away with murder on every-single-rebound.

Last note, check out the "and 1" foul on Tim Duncan toward the end of the fourth qtr: he literally head-butts Thomas' chest to create space....foul on Thomas.


PS - ABC showed a slow-mo of many no-calls on the Spurs, but NO commentary by the 'casters. Why not?

RMH said...

BTW: I'm a Lakers fan and have no reason to take a side in this discussion, other than the fair one.

Oh, and of course I left out the Coup de grĂ¢ce: Hi Bowen's knee, meet Nash's balls.