The problem with watching the Spurs – Mavs game this morning was that it was on at the same time as Jamie Oliver‘s reality show Jamie’s Kitchen, which after seeing a two episodes of, and not even complete ones at that, has become to me the best reality show there is even if it was done almost 5 years ago.
At any rate, shuffling between Basketball TV and the Lifestyle Channel I got the most part of the game which I was determined to watch as part of my own personal ‘DirkWatch’, which I have even created a category of on this blog. Yes denizens and kabillions of fans of Ballex, I am now going to try and watch the travails of my favorite – to – do – something – special – player – this – year, 2006-2007 NBA MVP (with a virtual asterisk) Dirk Nowitzki. Note however, emphasis on ‘try’, as just like anything I have to find time for it, and when I say ‘find time for it’ I mean when I turn on the TV and it’s there, plus if I don’t have anything more pressing to do and my nieces and nephews aren’t trying to grab the remote from me, I will watch the game. That’s professional NBA coverage right there!
So anyway, on to the game:
The Mavs started out on a house on fire and it showed everywhere. In their body language, in the crowd (they were at home), in their uptempo playoffs level style of play and finally, in the score, scoring 33 points against the Spurs measly 19 in the 1st quarter alone.
From that point onwards it was downhill for the Spurs. Other than Manu Ginobili’s usual spectacular heroics (he’s doing very well this year at 19.9 pts a game starting off the bench), I can’t really remember anything special to say about the Spur’s 1st half and early parts of the 2nd (after which I took a break to answer some emails and make phone calls).
And now a little bit about Manu is coming off the bench. Apparently this has been a Spurs tactic for many years, with Coach Popovich taking him off the starting lineup occasionally within the season. For what reason I am not absolutely sure of, since I don’t get to watch too many Spurs games. I can only assume either two things: One, That Manu is not a good starter, or Two: that someone else (Barry? Bonner? Vaughn? Finley? Bowen?) needs to get more time on the court.
Regardless, this results in another two things: One, putting a guy like Manu into a game after it starts is like flicking a match into a box of dynamite. He is instant offense personified and he looks spectacular possibly just because he is fresher or less tired than everyone else. And Two: putting him out of the starting lineup puts his All-Star appearances at risk. That by itself is not a big deal, but consider that such a thing also means less possibility of NBA or advertising endorsements, which can translate into less money for him. That means this is actually a bigger sacrifice than merely losing the chance to call yourself a starter. I’ve read however, that it’s ok with him, so if all that is true plus the way he’s been playing since the start, Manu is even more impressive than I thought.
Tired Tony. This guy won an NBA Championship, won Finals MVP, got married, played for France, did this and that (as part of his commitments to the Spurs, his wife, France and the NBA), and is now back playing again. Whew. I got tired just writing that so imagine how it is for him! If I were his trainer I’d probably put him in a large Tupperware container to ‘preserve’ him after each and every game so he won’t get so worn out. The guy’s only 25 years old and is already a 6 year vet with so many Championships both for the Spurs and in Europe as well. If there’s anyone I want to wish a break for it has to be him. There’s got to be something wrong about being 25 and not being able to enjoy the immense millions he has made and the family he’s about to start.
Ok those were my notes for my first ever Dirkwatch. But.. wait, something’s missing. Oh yeah news about Dirk! Well basically he scored 17 points, a point behind Devin Harris and 6 pts behind Josh Howard, who topscored with 23. He also made 8 rebounds in 37 minutes. On average he is doing 20 pts a game, 8.7 boards and 5 assists – good for most people but ordinary numbers for an All – Star. So in other words, nothing earth – shaking yet, just another instance in our year long wait for something interesting to report about our handball playing, handstanding, David Hasselhoff loving, NBA MVP with virtual asterisk long blonde haired favorite German player.