Bart Herridge
@BartTBF

So, two games, both close; one against a non-playoff (but improving) team and one against the reigning Western Conference Champs. And two wins. Next comes the new look Jazz, who look very different than the Jazz beaten in the first round last year.

1.  Song: Quiet Company, “You and Me & the Boatman”

Since I discovered this album several months ago, I’ve been completely unable to go a full week without listening to it. It’s simply tremendous, anthemic power pop with meaningful lyrics and great instrumentation. Sometimes I try to make a corny Spurs tie-in, but not now; this one is here just because it’s excellent.

2. Key Match Up: Paul Millsap vs. Boris Diaw

Millsap is a matchup nightmare. He’s too quick for Tim and he may be too strong for Boris. He has a great 15-18 foot spot-up jumper and he can put it on the floor and finish at the rim as well. On top of that, he’s an amazing rebounder, especially at the offensive end. Millsap is one of my favorite non-Spurs at the frontcourt positions in the league and I think he’s highly underrated. Boris presents his own problems for Millsap as well, but keeping Millsap to reasonable numbers (and off the glass) will go a long way toward determining the winner of this game.

3. Keeping An Eye On: Tim Duncan

I’m wondering about Timmy’s minutes in this contest. He played 33 and 34 minutes respectively in the opening back-to-back. I’m wondering if Pop is testing to see if Tim can do more minutes per game, but with more frequent nights off. I was surprised at how much run Duncan got in the first two and I’m wondering if this is a philosophical change or the product of two close games.

4. Bold Prediction: Manu returns to a win

I cannot predict a blowout here. This is a good Jazz team and their offseason additions, Mo and Shelden Williams, have meshed with the team. Mo in particular is a guy who has hurt the Spurs; remember the game vs. the Clippers last year when Mo hit about a thousand 3s and beat the Spurs?

Nonetheless, I think Manu makes the 2nd unit better and the Spurs eke this one out. Let’s call it 96-90.

Odds and Ends

If you have not looked ahead at the schedule, be prepared. It’s a beast. 16 games in November, 12 against last year’s playoff teams. Two back-to-backs in the first seven games. a three game swing through the West, including the Lakers. And we close out the month with the road game against the Heat.

I read the SA Express-News article a week or so ago about Antonio McDyess trying to make a comeback. While the Spurs do have a roster spot open, I’m hoping they say no to this one. I love Dice, but any role on this team precludes the continued development of Splitter or minutes for Diaw. Or the showcasing of Blair for a trade, which I hope happens before the February deadline.

 

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