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Old 04-27-05, 01:31 AM
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Harvey: Dear Jon: Oh, brother, it's time to start shooting

Buck Harvey: Dear Jon: Oh, brother, it's time to start shooting
Web Posted: 04/26/2005 10:31 PM CDT
San Antonio Express-News

After the Rockets beat the Mavericks in the first game of their series, Brent Barry did what all brothers do in this Verizon/Cingular age. He sent a congratulatory text message to Jon.

Firing back to Brent's cell phone before the Spurs' opener Sunday, with dreams of a very-Barry Western Conference finals, came the return text.

"See you in a couple of weeks!"


Since then a few things have changed. The Spurs lost, and another text message from Jon wouldn't have been appropriate. How can you comfort family in less than 25 characters?

Instead, Jon communicated with his brother through another transmission, this time via a television screen. Brent watched Monday night when Jon's Rockets played through their stars, swung the ball and created some open shots for their role players.

Did the Spurs get the message?

The Rockets got their Barry for insurance in mid-season, and he's become a vital part of that franchise's late-season run. Last week, when the Rockets held a pre-playoffs dinner and players were asked to say something, Jon came across like the crusty journeyman he is.

According to reports in Houston, Jon said: "This is the most confident I've ever felt about a group of guys. This is the best team I've ever been on. Understand what we can do."

Jon can be too crusty; there's likely a reason he's played for eight teams in his career. But he's always been a battler, and he was a year ago on the Nuggets.

The Spurs' Barry arrived in Texas with a better pedigree. Some in the league thought in October he could be a more significant off-season acquisition than Steve Nash was for Phoenix. And Sunday should have been one of those times when he made a difference.

Then the Spurs missed 17 consecutive shots. Brent would be pressed to miss 17 consecutive while balancing Earl Boykins on his shoulders.

But it's hard to blame Barry for missing shots he never took. He didn't play during that stretch in the fourth quarter and, more telling, he got only two shots in his 19 minutes on the floor.

Brent, ever trying to fit in, still ended with four assists.

Bruce Bowen also took only one shot, and that was a short runner. The reason Bowen didn't get an open look from the corner, when he often gets a half dozen, relates to what affected Barry. The other Spurs didn't move the ball as they did earlier in the season.

The Rockets showed them how, but their formula isn't easy to copy. When Tracy McGrady is demanding double teams, others will be open. When Yao Ming misses only one shot, free throws included, on his way to 33 points, others will be outrageously open.

But even while McGrady and Yao were dominating the Mavericks, they made sure to get the ball to their open shooters. Jon threw in three consecutive 3-pointers on his way to 16 points, and Bob Sura was good on four of his five attempts.

"I know I'm a role player," Jon told a Houston newspaper. "I know that for me to be good, I need to play on a team with great players. I think I can make them better. They make me better, but I have to hold up my part of the deal."

That defines Brent's role with the Spurs, too, and he lives within the system. When Brent found Boykins guarding him Sunday, his ego didn't get in the way.

Shouldn't he have posted up a player a foot shorter? That's exactly what George Karl would have wanted, because the Spurs then would have been abandoning what they normally run.

As Brent said Tuesday, "That's not something we do."


Brent instead ran to his spots and stayed within the system. But others didn't. When Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili weren't determined to drive inside, Glenn Robinson was going one-on-one.

If the passes don't come to Brent, how can he be what he was supposed to be?

Jon answered that Monday within the same state. He reminded the Spurs of the possibilities. If they are smart and patient, if they swing the ball to the open man, and if their best shooter gets a few looks, then anything is possible.

As text messages suggest.

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Old 04-27-05, 01:38 AM
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AMEN! Let's play OUR style of ball Wednesday.
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Old 04-27-05, 02:23 AM
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Thank u Buck Harvey, exactly what I've been saying the past two days. Brent Barry simply didn't get his number called. He didn't have the green light. Guys like Robinson50 simply didn't see what was going on.
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Old 04-27-05, 02:31 AM
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harvey has been on barry the most this season and I HOPE brent is getting the message..
As well as i hope that Jon is giving his brother brent some good shooting tips
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Old 04-27-05, 02:45 AM
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Buck makes some good points here, particularly about coach Karl and Barry ... just hope POP is thinking the same because in the end only he can make the adjustments and remind the spurs about moving the ball.
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Old 04-27-05, 07:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bnwhuxley
Thank u Buck Harvey, exactly what I've been saying the past two days. Brent Barry simply didn't get his number called. He didn't have the green light. Guys like Robinson50 simply didn't see what was going on.
yeah...I was questioning Barry after the game but after reviewing some things he didnt even had a chance to do anything bad

yet he got smashed around here after the game

he wasnt in during the stretch and the Spurs didnt move the ball well
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Old 04-27-05, 08:58 AM
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looks like harvey clarified why big dog didn't play so much
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Old 04-27-05, 11:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DizzG
yeah...I was questioning Barry after the game but after reviewing some things he didnt even had a chance to do anything bad

yet he got smashed around here after the game

he wasnt in during the stretch and the Spurs didnt move the ball well
:applause

Now we've got it. If it was up to Barry to take shot after shot and he didn't, then he'd be MORE THAN flame-worthy. This makes it all the more imperative for Tony to play like he's still the PG of this team.
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