Rock & Hammer – How the Spurs won Game 3

What’s the reason(s) San Antonio was able to rebound last night and win Game 3 against the Lakers, at home, trailing 0-2?


Reason One


According to last night’s TNT broadcast this is the quotation which hangs on the wall in the San Antonio locker room, inscribed in each language spoken by a member of their team:


When nothing seems to help, I go look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock perhaps a hundred times without as much a a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that blow that did it, but all that had gone before.” – Jacob Riis (American newspaper reporter and photographer, 1849-1914)


This is all you need to know about Air Force One.


Reason Two


If you’ve followed what this corner has had to say about this Spurs team, this season … in this space and elsewhere (i.e. different Live Blogging Events and other sites run by other bloggers) … you already know it was suggested earlier in this series that two of the things which HAD TO HAPPEN, if the Spurs were going to be able to get themselves back in it were: (i) Gregg Popovich was going to have to solve a certain riddle, pertaining to one Lamar Odom (6-10, 230) and the “normal rotation” of the Spurs and that, if Coach Pop finally does “figure it out”, (ii) the proper players for him to use more this series are (A) Robert Horry and (B) Brent Barry, in place of Ime Udoka.


Well … as the old saying goes,


The proof of the pudding is in the eating.” – Anonymous


Robert Horry, Brent Barry & Ime Udoka, Game 3

Reason Three



Manu Ginobili, Game 3

Nuff said.





It is going to take a special team to knock the reigning champs out of this year’s NBA title chase; a very special team.


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7 Responses to “Rock & Hammer – How the Spurs won Game 3”

  1. Rock & Hammer – How the Spurs won Game 3 | General | Sports Blogging-Wordpress and our take on the G’s-gambling, gaming, girls, guys, governments, golf and more Says:

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  2. Raps Fan Says:

    pop is the best coach and making adjustments. i just can’t see what jackson will do to counter (although i’m sure he will try something). udoka gets more burn then i would like personally.

  3. Arsenalist Says:

    I didn’t see much of Game 3 but looking at the box score it seems Parker and Ginobili happen to hit the shots they were missing in Games 1 and 2. I have noticed that the Lakers aren’t going through their triangle regularly and choose to start the plays with isos and pnrs much more often, kinda weird to see Phil do that stuff. I think Game 4 is pivotal as usual, series tied 2-2 and Lakers up 3-1 is a big difference, just like Magic/Raptors Game 4.

    I think Lakers will come to play and match the Spurs energy which they didn’t do in Game 3.

  4. withmalice Says:

    Could probably all come down to reason 3… but a good summation.

  5. khandor Says:

    Raps Fan,

    If you click on those links, you will see that the crucial adjustments in Game 3 were the decisions to reduce Udoka’s minutes drastically and up the minutes played by Robert Horry & Brent Barry.

    As I wrote about last week, I wasn’t sure that Pop was going to figure this out before it was too late for the Spurs to give themselves a fighting chance in this series.

    Over the years I’ve watched the Spurs, sometimes Pop makes the right adjustments and sometimes he doesn’t. IMO, yesterday, Pop’s decisions were right on the $$$.

    Certain NBA analysts have been concerned about Horry’s inability to hit shots playing against Odom, et al … but during yesterday’s TNT broadcast Kenny Smith finally got it right when he said that Robert Horry’s job this series isn’t to score baskets (which at last Horry stopped looking to do in the 2nd half) but to STOP Lamar Odom (or Radmanovic) from posting up at-will, scoring and rebounding against the Spurs’ slower or smaller SF/PF’s (e.g. Thomas, Oberto & Udoka) who were getting killed in Game 1 & 2.

    Likewise, the decision to go to Brent Barry with the 2nd unit was an absolute necessity, as Barry is taller, more athletic, quicker and a better perimeter shooter AND superior passer (with a high Bball IQ) than any of the other options which the Spurs have against the likes of Vujacic, Walton & Ariza (coming off the Lakers’ bench), or Odom when LA decides to go ‘small’ with Bryant (3) & Odom (4) in the front-court beside Gasol.


    For the Spurs to win games in this series Manu, Parker & Duncan each have to do what it is they specialize in doing BUT … the key to winning the series (4-3) for San Antonio is how Pop uses the other players at his disposal … e.g. Oberto, Finley, Thomas, Horry, Barry, Vaughn, Udoka and (even) Bonner.

    These two teams are very close in ability … so much so that I still can’t pick an eventual winner with any degree of certainty, hence I’ve made no ‘Series Selection’ , to this point … and if it’s going to go 7 seven games, as I forecast in my Conference Finals Preview, both of these two Hall Of Fame coaches will need to be at their absolute best, or either team is fully capable of running the table on the other faster than you can say CP3wastherealmvpofthe2007-2008regularseason.

    You’re correct, Game 4 is going to be a hum-dinger … with the Spurs’ title hopes still on the line.

  6. john Says:

    As the saying goes, home sweet home. You can’t argue about that. I know what the Spurs are capable of in San Antonio.

    The Lakers should not think that they can have it their way based on what happened in Game 1 & 2.

    Most importantly, Manu GINOBILI was back at his very best. In fact I would say this has been his best so far in the post season. The more like this the Spurs get from him, the better they’ll get.

    I’ll be looking forward to Game 4 to see Manu do it all over again.

    Let me know what is your thought about Manu’s performance from Game 3….

  7. khandor Says:


    As always, thanks for your comment.

    If Ginobili plays like he did in Game 3, and Pop sticks with his new rotation … i.e. playing Brent Barry & Robert Horry instead of Ime Udoka … the Spurs are going to end up playing 7 games in this series against the Lakers.

    Will they vanquish LA to reach the NBA Finals?

    I have too much respect for Phil Jackson and this year’s Lakers’ crew to answer that question just yet.

    All I can tell you is that this series is going to go 7 games and probably be decided in the final 3 minutes of the last game.

    In my judgment, at their best, these two teams are exceptionally even.

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