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Monday, March 29, 2010

The San Antonio Spurs will put you to sleep and beat you

When you sit back and think about it objectively, the San Antonio Spurs are one of the greatest NBA teams in my lifetime and one of pro sports' truly dominant franchises.

So why do you never hear a word about them, even when they're winning championships? First of all, San Antonio is a tiny market and their biggest star-Tim Duncan-is a sort of anti-star.

He's not flashy, he doesn't have ridiculous dance routines with his teammates and therefore he's not suitable for a daily Sportscenter highlight.

Teamwork and unselfishness are not ways to make a name for yourself in the popularity contest that is the NBA but I'm here to salute the Spurs and their mind-numbing efficiency.

With the Celtics playing some of their best basketball of the season, the Spurs came into the TD Garden last night and dealt the C's their worst beating of the year, 94-73.

Tony Parker is out with a broken hand, which I'm sure his wife Eva Longoria is helping him nurse back to health (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) but the Spurs (44-28) haven't skipped a beat as they've found their game when it really matters.

Manu Ginobili is carrying them right now, as evidenced by his game-high 28 points and seven assists last night. George Hill, starting for Parker, added 15 points and Richard Jefferson, who's had an awful season with his new team, notched 16 points and 11 rebounds.

Boston (47-26) was held to its lowest scoring output of the season so not surprisingly the offensive numbers were pathetic. Paul Pierce led the Celts with 18 points but Kevin Garnett (12 points, 10 rebounds) and Shelden Williams (11 points off the bench) were the only Celtics with a pulse in that lifeless effort.

Believe it or not, it was a close game for the first half as Boston led 23-19 after the first quarter and trailed 44-43 at the half.

A 12-0 San Antonio run to start the third quarter shifted the momentum dramatically and the Spurs held the Celtics to 30 points in the second half. Duncan didn't even score in double figures in the rout, putting up eight points and nine rebounds.

Hopefully this was just a blip on the NBA calendar as the Oklahoma City Thunder come to the Garden on Wednesday night (before Houston and Cleveland wrap up this extended homestand).

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