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Revenge of the Slovenian Riddle

The Spurs have been rolling along impressively.  Other than losses to Houston and Dallas, the team has marched through its schedule.  And then a few days back they came across Sacramento.  Artest was back on the team yet he wasn't the reason for the Kings victory.  Left for dead point guard Beno Udrih was picked up off waivers after the Spurs traded him to Minnesota who as quickly as possible cut him from the team.  

With his career  in jeopardy, Beno was picked up by Sacramento, a team in desperate need for a point guard due to Mike Bibby's injury absence.  The Spurs really had no reason to play particularly hard because Beno was now their opponent, yet the team played extremely flat.  Was Eva upset with Tony?  Is that why he was outplayed by Beno?  It seems that can't be the explanation.

Somehow the whole team came out flat.  It was very odd.  It reminded me of a game in last years playoffs versus Phoenix.  I'm thinking of the game following the Robert Horry elbow to Steve Nash.


In the game after this took place, the Spurs came out in the first half similarly flat.  It was as if their conscious made them feel guilty for how the events transpired.  Not that they did anything wrong, but it seemed as if they were afraid to exert their dominance.  In the second half they turned things around, which after a few games here and there resulted in this...


...which had shades and similarities, oddly,  to this clip from an infamous 80s documentary...


Flash forward back to Sacramento a few days ago, for this...


Had Beno ever played that well before?  Was it a fluke?  It will be interesting to see how the rest of the season goes for him.  If only he could have played that well for San Antonio.  His time here was clearly a point of controversy for the fans.  At what point was Beno to blame.  At what point was Pop to blame. Given how many opportunities Beno was given it would be a stretch to consider him another "one that got away."




And since I'm on a roll consider this following high light reel.  Whereas the them has been players that leave the team, it's odd to see footage of a player before they arrived in San Antonio.  Consider this out of nowhere profile of Brent Barry...


What happened to that guy?  This all gets back to the Spurs "system".  Given the difficulty many players have in adjusting to playing here, one would wonder how the team is as succesful as it is.  It must be a zen thing, something about denying one's individuality for the greater good of the team.

No Country For Old Men, Again?

Somehow on the way to see the new Sidney Lumet film, Before the Devil Knows Your Dead, I found myself seeing the Coen Brothers movie again.  The Lumet film had received ridiculous praise from a friend saying, 'it's the best film I've in the last 2 years."  Then again, a different friend claimed that No Country For Old Men was the best film in the last 10 years!  And  yet the lone commenter last week to OTS thought it was a letdown.  I suppose this is how the Oscar season works - over the top praise balanced out by under the top critique.  And now I've alienated my one reader.  Not true.

Homeostatsis seems to be at work but that doesn't do justice to the film.  Having seen it again, I was amused at how I didn't fully catch that the film is supposed to be a period piece set  in 1980.  I still think it could have been contemporary, and in another sense, should have been contemporary.  The period piece aspect undercuts the notion that this film is less caricaturized.  True, it isn't near as heavy as the hillbilly movie, but the framework for the Coen style is present.  I realize the novel was set in 1980, but well...

Perhaps they had a change of heart once they began direction?  I still think it will win at least a few awards here and there.

Next week, hopefully, there will be time for something new.

And for no reason at all, let's leave with this, a clip from Neil Diamond Parking Lot...



And so goes another week on the streets of San Antonio.  As always, to be continued...

Posted by Mark Jones on 11/29/2007
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