Are you rested? I’m rested. We should all be rested. Rest feels great. I certainly enjoyed my day off yesterday. What about you?
Tonight begins a string of three games against three terrible teams. Nets, Pistons, and Raptors. Tonight it is the Nets. They played in Detroit last night and got whomped.
But, nobody cares about any of that. Do we? No! Why? MANU IS BACK TONIGHT!!!!!
1. Song: Thinking About Tomorrow by Beth Orton
I have to come out now. There’s no way I can keep hiding and pretending. Yes, it’s true. This team has got me wildly optimistic now. I can’t help but think that this team is not only better than I thought, but far better than I thought. We are on a roll. We are second in the West. We have played only four games with our best player. He gets back tonight. I think we all know that Manu won’t be in top form right away, but we all know what he means to this team. We need Manu to be our best. The team has to take one game at a time and not get ahead of itself. But, for me, as a fan, I’m already “Thinking About Tomorrow”.
I love me some Beth Orton, especially the stuff she did with William Orbit on Strange Cargos III. My favorite song from Beth’s solo stuff is “Stolen Car” (check out the video, super cool, and really bitter tune with Ben Harper on slide guitar). “Thinking About Tomorrow” is off her Daybreaker album from 2002. It’s a very good album and this is one of the better songs. Like a lot of Beth’s songs, the lyrics are emotionally charged. Plus, she has those eyes!
2. Key Match Up: DeJuan Blair and Matt Bonner vs Kris Humphries
The Nets have managed 3 wins in their last 10 games. Those wins were 99-96 against the Pistons, 99-96 against the Cavs, and a 97-90 OT win against the Sixers. The Sixers win is their only win against a team with a winning record this season. In other words, these guys pretty much suck.
Deron Williams is putting up big numbers for the Nets in their wins. In those 3 wins, he ad 26 and 9, 27 and 10, and 34 and 11. So, you’d think we’d need to slow him down. But, no, we don’t. He puts up big numbers in their losses too. The key, I believe, is not letting him get the other guys hot. In particular, don’t let Kris Humphries get rolling.
In those same three wins, Kris Humphries had: 18 and 8, 18 and 11, and 13 and 19. We need our role players to be diligent in taking care of their guys and not helping too much on Deron Williams. We need to make it a one-man show for the Nets.
3. Keeping An Eye On: Tim Duncan and Tiago Splitter
The Nets, like the Grizzlies and Sixers, are banged up on their front line. Their top two centers, Brook Lopez and Mehmet Okur, are both out with injuries. The Nets are playing Shelden Williams and Johan Petro 40 minutes per game at the center position. I’m looking for Tim and Tiago to continue their efficient tear in the paint. With Manu back, we have another veteran guard to make sure we are feeding the big fellas in the post. I’m looking for 35-40 points and 20-25 boards from TimGo combo tonight.
4. Bold Prediction: Spurs By 18
I think we’ll play a little bit of a ragged first half. I mean, we are coming off two days rest for the first time all year, how can we not show some rust! Expect an ugly first quarter and for us to start getting it together late in the second. We’ll have an eight to ten point lead at the half. Then, we’ll drop the hammer in the third quarter and have it up to a 20-point lead by the start of the fourth.
Odds and Ends
The Spurs have some very favorable scheduling situations for the rest of the rodeo trip. If we take care of our next three games, we could very reasonably finish 8-1 or even 9-0. I’ll do a separate post on this tomorrow.
Yay! Tim Duncan didn’t make the all-star game. Honestly, I’m not that excited that he didn’t make it. He never really plays much in it anyway, so it’s not like he doesn’t get the rest. Still, I hope he enjoys spending some time with the family. I’d be curious to know how he really feels about it. Did he call his wife and say, “Can you believe that shit? They put Marc Gasol on the all-star team instead of me. No wonder Pop is coaching circles around these guys. They’re dumbasses.”
Seriously, you could make a case for Tim being the best center in the West. I have no truck with Bynum. He’s very solid. But, their team is playing like crap. The Spurs are the second best team in the West and a lot of it is because of Tim. Additionally, if I had to pick guys from the West to put together a team to win it all this year, Tim would be my first pick at center.