Living in a Fantasy World
Spurs 106, Timberwolves 91 Grizzlies 109, Timberwovles 80 Season Record: 2-13
First off, apologies for the tardiness of this report. The snow worked its way into our brain yesterday, and before we knew it we’d watched two movies, eaten half a pizza, and managed to miss the T-Wolves getting trounced at Memphis. Anyhow, to business.
We won’t bore you with a game recap of the Spurs victory on Friday except to say a couple things. Firstly, the Wolves looked really great for nearly three quarters. With McCants out with a sore knee, and with Jaric leaving in the first quarter after turning his ankle, the Wolves took it to the Spurs at both ends of the court. Telfair played especially well, finding Craig Smith for a couple nifty give-and-go's, hitting a bunch of floaters in the lane, and driving to the hoop against Tony Parker with impunity.
Secondly: The Wolves were up 80-66 toward the end of the third, then were outscored 40-11 the rest of the way. You know the drill: Complete collapse against a better, more experienced opponent.
Locker Room Notes There’s a rule in the NBA that the players' locker rooms shall be open to the media 10 after the game. Much to the chagrin of the sportswriters assembled outside the vistors' locker room Friday evening, the Spurs pushed it to closer to 25. Which, reigning league champs that they are, is sort of how they roll.
Once inside, we were disappointed to find Tim Duncan had already ducked out. Understandable, given that he’s likely not used to the harsh glare of the Minneapolis sports media, playing as he does in San Antonio and all. But we were pleased to find Brent Barry, who for years was one of probably the 10-best fantasy players in the league. We wanted to know: Do you have a sense of your fantasy greatness?
Brent Barry: I guess it’s gotten a little different the past couple years because I haven’t been playing as much. I hope I’m not ruining people’s year. But maybe I’ve got to start looking into that. Really study the numbers. And if I start becoming more effective fantasy-wise I'll know that I’m doing good out on the court. Cause for players it works the opposite way. We know that if we play well on the court it transcends our fantasy numbers. But I’m going to go the opposite route.
Continued Barry: I’ve got some buddies that were playing in a league for the first time this year and they called me during the draft and were asking me about some of the players. I was a good source for a couple of them. I told them, look out for Josh Childress off the bench. I told one of my buddies to pick up [Kelenna] Azubuike [13.3 pts, 5.2 boards in 31 mpg] before the year started. I knew Don Nelson wasn’t gonna play [Marco] Belinelli [2.3 pts, .6 boards, 9 mpg, w/ 5 DNP-CD’s]. That kind of insider trading—I hope I don’t get a Martha Stewart kind of thing.
As we should have mentioned above, Mark Madsen had a particularly effective game Friday, in that he managed to piss off Tim Duncan enough to get the normally unflappable superstar a technical foul. We asked Bruce Bowen, veteran on-court asshole, what it’s like to play on a team opposite Madsen.
“I don’t even know how to answer that,” Bowen responded, not disguising his impatience with the question. “Just play basketball, that’s all.”
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