December 5, 2023

Spurs, Heat, smoke, and sweatshirt

Random thoughts and notes from San Antonio’s victory over Miami.

In trucker’s jargon, Los Angeles has always been Shaky Town. This week, it is Smoky Town, as demonstrated by Wednesday’s night sunset picture taken from my office.

While all that was going on, I was able to watch the Spurs game against the Heat. The game was fascinating for many random reasons – including that both teams’ three-point shooting was as hot as the hills above L.A.

Among the most random was this UCLA sweatshirt guy directly behind the Miami bench:

Last season I wrote about attending the Spurs game at the Staples Center, and sitting behind a guy wearing a Toronto Blue Jays jersey to the game. Wrong sport, wrong city and wrong country. The UCLA guy behind Heat coach Erik Spoelstra may have had the right sport, but it was behind the wrong bench in the wrong city, wrong state and in many ways a different country. Of course, the colors certainly clashed with both the Heat and Spurs team colors. In case you are wondering, none of the Heat players went to UCLA.

Speaking of being in the wrong place, the ESPN headline after the game was “Spurs Hold Off Heat in Miami”. Clearly, the poor ESPN headline writer saw the Spurs in their black and silver road uniforms and naturally assumed they were on the road. Anyone know why the good guys were wearing black?

Other thoughts:

  • Spurs fans are rightfully recognized as being among the best in the game. Knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and they love the Coyote.

What else could you ask for?

How about showing up on time for the start of the game, and after half-time? It seems to me that every game and second half begins with way too many empty seats:

  • In the second quarter, after the Heat had already drilled a bunch of threes, Miami wing James Richardson fired up a long three from beyond the top of the key. Spurs announcer Bill Land shouted “Heat check!” – but no one called him out for either the best or most unintentional pun of the evening.
  • Neither Land nor Sean Elliott pointed out how the small-ball Spurs (with Rudy Gay at the 4) defended the Heat “bigs”. The Spurs intentionally matched their 4 (Gay or Davis Bertrans) on the Heat center (Kelly Olynyk) and put their 5 (LMA or Gasol) on one of the Heat’s forwards, often Justise Winslow. Because Olynyk is a “stretch 5” and the Heat’s best three pointer shooter, this allowed the Spurs to prevent him from getting open and/or draw the Spurs’ bigs away from the rim. And because Winslow is not a good three-point shooter (31%), the Spurs could ignore him at the three-point line – and Winslow obliged, going 1 for 4 from 3.
  • Dannygreen! was plus 31 for the game. Just sayin’.
  • The Heat outshot the Spurs for the game, 54.2% to 52.9%. This is the first time this season that the Spurs won while being out-shot from the field.

Source: Pounding The Rock


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