Jake Appleman

First Quarter

–Two open shots for San Antonio to start things up. One goes in. That’s about right.

–Immediately after I spend 15 seconds wondering about bad Boris Diaw karma, Diaw picks up his first foul and then Kurt Thomas drills a jumper. Diaw atones by hitting a cutting STAT for an And-one opportunity (ft missed). Apparently the BD karma isn’t transitive.

–Good help D by STAT on Tim Duncan, but then the loose ball lands in Kurt Thomas’ hands, eight feet away from the rim. Stat just looks at him. Thomas drills the shorty, word to Salma Hayek and the Spurs are up 6-4 (rollin in my…). That play says so much about so many things, I’m bursting at the proverbial seams. Wait no–Salma Hayek again. Yikes, we’re two minutes and I’ve already mentioned Karma and a hot actress from Dogma. What’s next a Street Fighter Dhalsim / Dharma and Greg cross reference? Quit while you’re ahead, quit while you’re ahead, quit while you’re ahead, you’re behind.

F*ck.

–Diaw drills a jumper. My confidence in myself rises exponentially.

–Can’t wait to play soccer against Steve Nash this summer–tomorrow. Too soon?

–Shaq and Stat have both missed dunks. Here’s a sentance with two typoz just so I can join the symbolic party.

–Shaq looks hulking–in a bad way.

–16-11 halfway through the quarter.

–A flurry of good D and missed shots. Tony Parker is going at it. His testosterone must have been bottled up in the Garden of Eva.

–Who are you and what have you done with Leandro Barbosa?

–This bartender (actress) in a Budweiser commercial just referred to Budweiser as, “the perfect beer.” That’s like calling Vince Carter, (less filling the cup with substance, advertised exploits that cloud reality, superior drink/dunk-ability…The Bud Light basketball player), the perfect two guard.

Sheer Speculation: Raising kids has softened Steve Nash’s external competitive fire. To which I say, good for him. Really. It’s important to remember what’s important in life sometimes, especially if you’re still working your ass off to be a good father (more speculation, but I think I have a good read on that) and do the best you can at work.

–Openly lobbying for the potentially open Phoenix Suns coaching vacancy, Doug Collins challenges the validity of the Hack-A-Shaq. Just kidding, Doug. Or am I? In the words of a former teammate: “Oooooh!”

–Brian Skinner replaces Shaq and the Spurs go to a hack-a-Skinner. Let me reach into the Wu-Tang lyrical sperm bank here. “The combination made my eyes bleed.” Skinner hits the first freebie. A kitten is spared. He loses out to an unfriendly bounce on the second. The cutest kitten in the history of the world no can haz cheezburger because now iz cheeseburger.

–Robert Horry checks in. He drops his TNT application off with Kevin Harlan at the Scorer’s Table. I mention my potential TNT control room intelligent game watching pre-show conversation facilitator application on my blog. I’d consider shaving my beard for that gig.

–If Tony Parker is Peter Pan, then Boris Diaw, with this pretty go to post move of his, has suddenly morphed into Captain Hook. Manu Ginobili is Ru-fi-ohhhhh and Shaq is Smee. We are nothing if not purveyors of analogies and metaphors here at good ole SlamOnline. The Spurs as the good guys? Chew on that…

–Geriatric Shot Bob misses a 3.

30-26, Spurs after one. TP is on pace for 52.

Second Quarter

–The Suns go on a 14-4 run to get back on the right side of things.

–Shaq trying to convert a stick-back in traffic while surrounded is damn near impossible to describe. It’s like an aging Black Widow caught in its own web. Mind and body are not fully on the same page.

–The Spurs, as is their prerogative–they are, after all, still the champs–take a timely Timeout and take the lead back.

–Ime Udoka ties it with a 3, then gives his team the lead with short jumper. 45-43.

–Like all good teams, the Spurs finish the quarter well, reeling off 7 in a row, punctuated by Tony Parker’s fantastic 3 point play after another judiciously called Timeout. “Oh mine Pop-pa…” Can’t say enough about Pop, or TP for that matter; silky smooth and quickly getting the job done.

–Heading into the half, consider the following TNT-shown Phoenix related stats:

0 Assists for Steve Nash

2 Fastbreak points

39% from the floor

13 missed free throws

The Suns have succeeded in executing…themselves.

–After $10 of Chinese food, like DeShawn Stevenson, I can no longer feel my face. Houston Rockets NBA TV ass kicking halftime entertainment only serves to enhance the glory. Love you, Mac. Love you, Skip. SCOLA!

Third Quarter

— “69-66: Fabricio Oberto makes two point shot (Brent Barry assists).” Kids, it’s about knowing your role.

–I would love to be a part of a Kevin Harlan/Doug Collins broadcast team as a third wheel named “Bug Collins”. The job would consist of playing devil’s advocate in response to anything Collins says and trying to annoy him with exacerbated Harlan impersonations. Not that I think Collins is wrong often; it would just be way too much fun given DC’s laid back nice guy delivery.

–Fusion video game idea for the good folks at EA sports: the combination of the NBA All Stars skills challenge and Cruisin’ USA. You would never want to race anybody who was Tony Parker on an open highway course.

Fourth Quarter

–It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s…Michael Phelps? Shaq goes diving through the lane like it’s a swimming pool and he’s 26. He lands among the photogs.

–I never understood this Shaq, “he makes them when it matters” free throw discussion. Excuse the obviousness here: In a close game they all matter because they all alter the final point total. You don’t need to set yourself up for pressure if you take care of it when there is none.

–A Duncan floater. 81-79.

–Shaq comes back and draws a foul. It’s like 2002 up in this b*tch.

–Nash drains a high arcing midrange pull up.

–You want efficiency? Tony Parker, the best player on the floor all night hits his first jumper. At least according to Kevin Harlan. 85-82

–A Nash triple gives us our first Kevin Harlan larynx check of the evening. Larynx awareness is sponsored by Hall’s Cough Drops, Suzie from Curb Your Enthusiasm and the little girl that lives in the apartment below me that never shuts the f*ck up. I would consider calling CPS, but, well, you know…

–Harlan treats one STAT block like a Dave Chappelle Block party.

Useful Arms Bob helps dislodge the ball from Steve Nash–uncharacteristically stricken with a sever case whooping cough during the game’s most important moments. This leads to a TP fast break and a trip to the line. Like **ea**-*e*, he splits the pair.

–Nash: pill-carrying vomitspit. We’re going the other way. (Some turnover appropriate DOOM for the Suns, heading to theirs: “He’d rather eat a sand sandwich salad / it might need salt like your man’s bland ballad.”)

–Like an anti-steroids mason ambushing Marion Jones from a hot-air balloon, Tim Duncan bricks a long jumper.

–DIAW THROWS IT AWAY. I F*CKING TOLD YOU IN THE FIRST F*CKING QUARTER. Kudos to innate hoops-related spidey sense. 88-85, Champs.

–Diaw drops in a quick two off an inbounds pass. (Not impressed; do it all the time sans the inbounds pass. Can you tell it’s late at night as this is written?)

–With 27 ticks left, Ginobili is fouled going up off of a dangerous lob from TD. He hits 1-2. The creators of “clutch stats” just threw a couch out of their window.

–An inbounds pass ricochets off of Nash, dealing with a hand to the back from Bruce Bowen. Nash is PISSED.

–Ginobili drills a pair of free throws. The guys from clutch stats leave their apartment and bring their couch back into their apartment. It has bodega wrappers and dog urine on it.

Anyone who thought I was referring to the Suns as Speedy Gonzalez in my series preview needs to read the banner again. Flipper was the greatest dolphin ever.