"There are a lot of people in the league who have lost a lot of respect for him. People are starting to see he's not so clean."
-Bruce Bowen, on Ray Allen
Um, yeah, okay, Bruce. I shouldn't slag Bowen too much, in that he came clean and owned up to his responsibility in the Spurs' loss to the Sonics on March 26th, when he and Allen got into a tussle and Bowen kicked Sugar Ray in the back. Bowen's kick prompted a technical and - later, thanks to a phone call from Allen to Stu Jackson - a $10,000 fine. Still, for Bruce Bowen to comment on another player's lack of cleanliness is somewhat silly.
Whatever the case, tonight's game should be more than the typical season-ending fare one would expect from a team out of the playoffs. The Sonics are ... well, they're not exactly on fire, but with four consecutive wins, they're at least moving from the "Low" part of the burner to around 5 or 6. The Spurs, meanwhile, are questing for playoff positioning, so the game means a huge amount to S.A.
Oh, and did I mention that Bob Hill still doesn't mail Gregg Popovich a Christmas card? Should be some kind of fun in the Alamo tonight. Top matchups:
1. Allen vs Bowen (natch)
2. Wilcox vs Duncan
3. Hill vs Pop
4. Frodo vs the Wee Frenchman
5. The Rim vs Brent Barry (sorry, couldn't help myself)