Michael Finley was open, but with such little time left, I'd have liked to have seen him without so much ground to cover before he could get into shooting position.
Spurs fan Tim makes a great point, which I'll paraphrase: The takeaway message from Brent Barry's no-call was that Barry should have "sold the call" more. "Selling the call" is almost indistinguishable from flopping. If you hate flopping, you have to like how Brent Barry handled this. And you have to wish that he got that call without having to become a thespian. Tim also adds, by e-mail: "I'm sorry to pile on, but I feel ill this morning. I'm not sure if many people are reporting this, but Tiago Splitter is saying that he wants to resign with Tau because they can pay him more money. The Spurs are in Spain trying to persaude him otherwise. Damn. This, by the way, is why the diminishing dollar and stingy rookie pay scale do not make good bedfellows. The Spurs are getting skrewed for drafting well. Am I grumpy this morning ... yeah, a bit."
Basketbawful: "Kudos to the Spurs players and coaching staff for staying so classy about this whole thing. Most teams would be freaking the hell out about the injustice of it all. The Spurs were actually very Zen-like about it. Barry said: 'That's not going to get called in the Western Conference finals. Maybe in the regular season. But that call shouldn't be called in the Western Conference finals.' Gregg Popovich said: 'If I was the official I wouldn't have called that a foul.' And Duncan simply said: 'Obviously we're in a hole and it's 3-1. It's one loss and an elimination, but we really feel that if we clean a lot of this stuff up we have an opportunity to get right back in this series.' I guess you can never underestimate the inner-peace of a champion."
TrueHoop reader Greg e-mails: "I know that was a foul. Everybody knows it was a foul. Did they need to call it. Yes. Did it cost the Spurs the game? No. All their missed 3's and missed rebounds cost them the game. But my biggest gripe of the evening was with every analyst who sat and said that it shouldn't be a foul because either Barry didn't sell it, or because a game shouldn't end that way. Since when does the rule book say that a foul is called, unless it's near the end of the game and could alter the outcome of the game because it's 35 feet from the basket? A foul is a foul. And the notion that Barry didn't get the call because he didn't flop or run into Fisher more? As a Spurs fan, I have to listen to/read things everyday talking about all they do is flop. That they are cheaters and whine/complain more than any team. And now, when our guy gets fouled and makes an effort to put up a shot, he's criticized for it?"
Of all the things modern basketball statistics might do, one of the most difficult challenges is to rank players. It's nearly impossible to quantify everything a player does. But that's what everybody wants. Here is a look at some of the different new-breed player rankings systems, with a lot of work put into figuring out who ranks really high and really low in each system. Amir Johnson is high in all of them. Chris Paul is way up there in some, but middle of the pack in others. Al Jefferson is either one of the best or one of the worst players in the NBA. Mardy Collins is near the bottom nearly every time.
Girls playing basketball, despite some religious limitations (no men in the audience!) at the Islamic Games in New Jersey.
Being in the media hoard, trying to tease nuggets of information from Kobe Bryant.
Wages of Wins on Joey Dorsey: "Finally, Memphis's Joey Dorsey just plain puts up amazing Win Scores. Looking at his history, you'll understand why I sighed a big breath of relief as Dorsey fouled out of the National Title Game. Dorsey, not Derrick Rose, was the engine that drove the Memphis Tigers through the regular season, and both players stepped up for a fantastic tournament run. Rose may go 30 picks earlier, but Dorsey can well prove to be the better value given the cheap projected price of a 2nd rounder."
Steve Kerr talks about the Phoenix coaching search on Suns.com: "... the need to reach Amare [Stoudemire] is one of the major themes of this coaching search. Whether it's a head coach or an assistant, I think it is critical we find someone who can help Amare improve at both ends of the floor. I think Amare has just scratched the surface and that he can learn to be a more complete player. That will be one of the challenges for the new coach."
Steve Luhm of the Salt Lake Tribune: "There is an unwritten rule in the NBA that games are not to be won at the free-throw line or by an official's call. For instance: Michael Jordan pushes Bryon Russell aside and wins another championship. Karl Malone bear-hugs Clyde Drexler and John Stockton sends the Jazz to the NBA Finals. Pau Gasol pushes Memo Okur in the back, scores and the Lakers win pivotal Game 5 in their second-round series against Utah. Personally, I think a foul is a foul is a foul, regardless of how much time is left on the clock or the score of the game. This unwritten rule about officials not making calls in the final seconds of a game creates a huge credibility problem for the NBA because, when obvious fouls are not called, the officials are also deciding the game -- just in a different way. They might not be deciding it by blowing their whistles, but they are deciding it by not doing their job, which is to enforce the rules and give each team a fair chance at winning the game."
Channing Frye can handle 82 games of pounding, but an afternoon at Ikea just about killed him.
Caron Butler says this is the first time he has ever golfed. So why does he own those clothes? I'm just thankful nobody got hurt.