I’m very excited about this game. Mostly, I’m excited because I’ll be attending.
I’m also excited, though, because I didn’t think we played particularly well on Sunday and I want to see us play better.
1. Song: Night Vision Binoculars by Passenger
The all-time creepy stalker song. I really like the happy upbeat sound juxtaposed against the stalker lyrics. Add in the super-extra-double-triple-secret-pre-pubescent creepy quality of the singer’s voice and you have given me the skeeves. This song is seriously skeevy. Enjoy!
The I’m the boy set of lyrics are FANTASTIC. I hope you get your creep on.
2. Key Match Up: Tony Parker vs Russell Westbrook
While this was the headline match up coming into the series, I think it will be even more important to watch in game two. In fact, I think it will be the most important clash between the two point guards in the entire series. Why? Because both players are coming off a disappointing performance in game one. Will they come out and try to do too much and hurt their team? Will they be too aggressive? Will their aggression involve their teammates getting easier shots?
I think both players need to be better for their teams. But, they need to be the right kind of better. Keep an eye on these two in the first six minutes of the game. It will tell you a lot about the rest of the series.
3. Keeping An Eye On: Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green
In my game one recap, I discussed how I thought both of these guys were a bit too amped up and didn’t play well because of it. They did the same thing against the Jazz in the first round. They each played great in the second game of that series. I expect the same thing from them tonight. Why? Because they are both tough nuts upstairs. They learn and get better. They don’t struggle and regress.
4. Bold Prediction: Spurs by 21
I think we click on all cylinders this game and build a small-ish 8-10 point lead going into halftime. I think Manu will key a late 3rd quarter run off the bench that will put the lead up near 18. Then, we’ll close it out by about the 4:00 mark of the fourth quarter and Patrick Mills will drain a 3-ptr for the final margin.
I expect Duncan will have a fairly quiet game tonight as the other guys will all step up and Tim can just play effectively in the background. Like he likes to do.
Odds and Ends
A lot has been made of Pop telling the team he wanted to see some nasty. It makes for a fun quote and set of headlines. What you haven’t really read, I’ll bet, is why Pop is able to give a talk like that mid-game and have it be effective.
I’d bet that it is as close to Pop comes to challenging their manliness. Pop using nasty was a way to incorporate all the things the team works on day in and day out into one nice little word. He wasn’t asking them to do anything different. He was just asking them to do what they always do, but with more intensity. Drive. Pass. Shoot. Pop was reinforcing the exact same message he has delivered all season. It is precisely Pop’s ability to stay on message that allowed his speech to be effective.
Pop gave his guys something to do and a mechanism by which to achieve it. Shoot with confidence. Drive with decisiveness. Pass with crispness. Do them all with a little bit more intensity. Don’t question yourself. An equivalent thing to say would be “play the way you are capable of playing”. And really, that’s all Pop was asking of them.