Ballin: Every Western Conference finals preview you could find said something along the lines of “Manu Ginobili is just destined to break out.” Every preview was right, as the Poo God put up 26 points on 14 shots, went 3-5 on threes and added five rebounds and three assists, while just generally owning significant stretches of the game. Awesome to watch.
Not so much: Russell Westbrook and James Harden combined to score 36 points on 14-38 shooting, which is just not good enough to beat the Spurs. I got mad faith they’ll turn it around.
Awesome to watch, part 1: I mentioned earlier that Manu was awesome to watch in yesterday’s game, so here is some of that evidence.
That last slow motion replay is the real winner here. Such a great fake.
Awesome to watch, part 2: Feels like this was the play when you knew Manu was going to have a huge game.
Derek Fisher saw that and he was like, “Niiiiiiiice.”
Good one: The award for the most fascinating/hilarious player of Game 1 goes to Gary Neal, who seemed to be involved in every momentum-turning play for a stretch of the fourth quarter. The 27-foot pull up J was hilariously bad, the three he hit soon after — immediately following Tony Parker telling him exactly where to be for an open three — was hilariously Spurs.
Bird-beard bit: Steve Kerr has been workshopping a James Harden beard routine, so I’m really happy for him to be able to work it in to a playoff game.
Great bit. Very solid. Could use some tightening, but I love the direction.
Other things: Chris Bosh is working out again, but there’s no timetable for his return … Rajon Rondo thinks the Celtics can beat the Heat, no duh … Ricky Rubio is the best … Kendrick Perkins thinks Andrew Bynum is a dummy … Here’s Ray Allen practicing threes in the dark