If for some strange reason you follow me on Twitter, then you know I do not think we played well for a bulk of the game. Then, when we did start to play better, everything went against us. And I mean everything. Loose balls, calls, bounces, and every damn shot in the world fell for the Rockets.
But, we got up off the mat. Fought to get ourselves to overtime. Then we put the hammer down and thumped them.
My Black Sabbath ‘Paranoid’ CD has a bonus track on it. It’s a 19 minute live version of Wicked World (from their first album). It is easily the best bonus track I own. The song is amazing. You really get a sense of their roots as a blues band and their amazing ability to piece sections of music together. While Iommi’s riffs are really what made Black Sabbath, an underrated aspect of their songs is that they were almost always multiple songs in one. They didn’t just always knock out a quick 2-minute song. They frequently combined 3-4 short songs into a longer one that would cycle back to some of the earlier pieces. I’m guessing it is their classical music background that made them want to be more like composers. Anyhow! It’s a great tune and it is great free music. Much like the free basketball from the Spurs-Rockets. More please!
The award for making the most out of the least amount of talent has to go to Jeremy Lin in this one. As horrible as he was Friday night, he was good Monday night. He looked like he was casting into a lake, not taking shots at the rim. Everything he threw up went in. Curl around a screen and pull up for 3? No problem. Iso at the top and dribble out the shot clock and take a hand-in-your-face, toe-on-the-line-two? No problem (he did it twice). Drive paint and flip up a running off-hand, high-over-Duncan, off-the-glass, from six-feet-out shot? No problem. He was simply brilliant and unconscious. Much like Ozzy.
The award for “that guy was in the band? Really? But damn he’s pretty good now that you mention it” goes to Danny Green. Danny didn’t have his 3-pt shot going, just 2-7, but he finished well at the rim and he played some great defense. Danny especially came up big defensively in the big moments. At the end of regulation, with the game tied, he completely locked up Lin and not only did Lin not get a shot off, but he was on the floor at half court when the shot clock expired.
It wasn’t the only great defensive play by Danny, but it was the most obvious and it really was the play of the game.
FWIW, the Rockets didn’t get off a 3-pt shot in the overtime. They were 16-30 on the game.
This goes to the “hey, that guy is really solid and never seems to miss a beat” or a shot. That would be Gary Neal. Damn, the guy is just awesome. At some point, we need to start hearing some Gary Neal in the 3-pt competition chatter. The guy has a sweet shot and he is a stone cold killer with an icy pair. Who else, besides Manu, have we seen pull up and take the kind of shots Gary does? Nobody! You know why? Pop would kill them. Gary just doesn’t care. Gary hit 7-10 from 3-pt and 11-18 overall on his way to a career high 29.
In a stat line oddity, he didn’t get to the line, didn’t grab a rebound, and didn’t have an assist. But, man was he good.
The master. Always creative and solid. The engine that makes them go. Iommi, for me, is true genius. I just love everything he does. It’s amazing to me that one man could crank out so many original and awesome sounds in a career. Take a listen to the guitar solo in this live version of “Wicked World” and you will hear what I think is an truly amazing effort. He’s got it all working. He just draws you in and takes you for a wonderful ride.
Ladies and gentlemen, Tony Parker and his first career triple-double. 27 points, 12 assists, and 12 rebounds. A team-high +22. 27 points on 18 shots. Efficient and effective. Tony did a really good job of picking his spots and really working over the Rockets. He also did his share on defense as all 12 of his rebounds came on the defensive end. He used those boards to jump start the fast break and really push the pace against the Rockets.
Overall, this was a great win for us. The other team was smoking hot. They were far more aggressive and were getting lots of calls — and free throws (36 total) — because of it. We were flat. Tired. Uninspired. Down double digits. Getting nothing from Tim when he wasn’t on the bench in foul trouble. It didn’t matter. We scrapped one out.
Fun fact: The Spurs started 2-8 on the road last season. Since, they are 31-5 and Pop has rested the Big 3 in 3 of those 5 losses. Truly a remarkable run when you consider the 31-5 mark is one of the best 4-5 road runs in NBA history.