9:41 – Our first foul on Detroit gets called at the 4:14 mark, drawing a sarcastic cheer from the crowd. That's one of the more underrated crowd noises in sports – the "Thanks for finally blowing the whistle, you [expletive]" noise.

9:44 – "I look at myself as a leader who happens to coach basketball. I want you armed for life. I want you to develop as a player. I want you to develop as a student. And I want you to develop as a human being."

(In the meantime, American Express is going to write me a gigantic check while you guys get a free scholarship, free sneakers, a free room and that's it. But let me know if you need any advice or anything, I'm always here for you.)

9:50 – Parker dribbles the ball off his foot with 4.3 seconds remaining, leading to a quick Billups substitution and the … yes! There it is! The inevitable "4.3 seconds is a long time" comment from Hubie. I know this man like the back of my hand.

9:51 – Our score after one: 20-17. Not a good sign for Detroit – they played a near-flawless first quarter and they're only up by three. These are things that happen when your bench is a weaker link than Gretchen Mol in "Rounders."

9:58 – Hubie thinks they're "allowing a lot of contact between Ginobili and Hamilton." I think that Ginobili is going to get to third base with Hamilton by the end of the night. Regardless, here's the point: Ginobili is playing Rip very tight tonight.

10:03 – When Jennifer Aniston is watching TV and that "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" commercial comes on, does she just start throwing things? And who would be the best revenge boyfriend for her? I'd go with Wilmer Valderrama if I were her. That would drive me crazy knowing that my ex-wife was dating Wilmer Valderrama. I wouldn't be able to handle it. Wait, he's like 5-foot-6! He has a lisp! What do people see in this guy? I'd be obsessed. Anyway, that should be her move. Either him or Michael Clarke Duncan.

10:07 – Remember when the Spurs acquired Brent Barry last summer and everyone reacted like they had just acquired John Havlicek in his prime? Um, he just picked up three fouls in about 4.2 seconds. On the bright side, I don't think there's a player in the league who spends more money on his haircut.

Evander Holyfield
"If you don't do the tango with me, I'm knockin' you out."

10:10 – Best player in the first half so far: Chauncey Billups. I remember watching him on the Celtics as a rookie and thinking, "There's no way he'll ever figure out how to run a team." Unfortunately, Rick Pitino came to the same conclusion and traded him. Now he's the reigning NBA Finals MVP and one of the best money guards in the league. The lesson, as always: There's a reason Rick Pitino and I aren't running NBA teams.

10:17 – They just showed a "Dancing With the Stars" promo, which reminds me: Start TiVo-ing this show, if only for the Evander Holyfield parts. Did you ever have a quiet family member who got drunk at a wedding and decided to show off his moves on the dance floor and wasn't half-bad – except that he sported a crazy half-smile/half-intensity look the entire time, and you weren't quite sure if someone was going to be groped inappropriately? That's what we're getting with Evander every week.

Continued...


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