About four months ago, some NBA people were seriously discussing whether or not Tony Parker could make a legitimate claim to being the league's Most Valuable Player this season. That discussion was mostly bunk , on account of LeBron James existing, but it was an important step up in recognition for the evolution of the San Antonio Spurs point guard's game over the past few years ? the vision, pace and timing he's added to his speed and quickness, the subtle in-and-out moves and slight feints he's mastered to keep even first-rate defenders off-balance, the feel he's developed for when to hunt his own offense and when to facilitate for others to make sure San Antonio's offensive machine is in prime working order.
After skewing a bit toward the former with a team-high 14 shots and a game-high 20 points in the Spurs' Western Conference finals-opening win over the visiting Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday, Parker clearly veered back to the latter in Tuesday's Game 2, keeping Memphis' perimeter defenders at arm's length and dominating the opening three quarters of the game en route to a career-best 18 assists in a 93-89 overtime win that gave San Antonio a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.
Sure, there might have been a little bit of home-scorer's cooking on a couple of those credited dimes, but Parker's overall control of the game and mastery of a hard-working Grizzlies defense was undeniable.
"He was unbelievable," longtime running buddy Tim Duncan said after the game . "I know he's exhausted. We asked a lot of him. He was controlling the ball every time down the floor and he was making every right play there was. He was finding people, and people knocked down shots for him."
It would be fair to expect San Antonio Spurs fans to let out sighs of relief after the end of Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals against the Memphis Grizzlies. After blowing a 13-point fourth quarter lead to see the Grizzlies force overtime (due in part to a questionable flagrant foul on Manu Ginobili with 26 seconds left), the Spurs controlled overtime to come away with a 93-89 win and 2-0 series lead heading into Game 3 in Memphis. They averted disaster and remain in strong position to make the NBA Finals.
Yet, for at least one attending fan, the game's end was not an opportunity to express relief, but rather a chance to celebrate the Spurs' win in the form of an excited yelp. With two consecutive screams of "We did it!" this man has now entered playoff fan lore alongside Joakim Noah flipper-offer and potential murderer Filomena Tobias , the woman who screamed during the entire Spurs comeback in Game 1 against the Golden State Warriors, and the Miami Heat's " good job, good effort" kid , his spiritual cousin. Congratulations, sir: you will now always be known as "We Did It" Guy.
In truth, there is nothing particularly wrong with what this man did. Fans yell in support of their teams all the time. On the other hand, most aren't picked up in perfect stereo sound by TV cameras in the middle of a fairly sober post-game scene. The Spurs responded to the win in characteristically stoic form, and this fan disrupted things in a manner rarely heard outside of corporate golf tournaments and wrestling events featuring Jerry "The King" Lawler ( a Grizzlies fan , incidentally).
It's as yet uncertain how Grizzlies fans will respond in the aftermath of their own wins in this series, but I'm willing to bet things will sound a little different. Er, wait, what does it sound like when everyone eats all the ribs within a 20-mile radius?
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The minds behind Ball Don?t Lie are going to preview each of the parings in the third round, with Kelly Dwyer going against character for a more genial take, Dan Devine bringing his inimitable mixture of both order and bedlam, along with Eric Freeman?s legendary look inside the reputations of some of the series? key fixtures.
We continue with the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers.
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Just three seasons ago, the Golden State Warriors were a 26-win team with Monta Ellis and Corey Maggette as their two leading scorers ? this was a team in need of a radical overhaul. Enter new ownership willing to invest in winning, new players to go with then rookie Stephen Curry, a new coach in?