Spurs post-mortem: into the jaws of defeat

What a game. What a series. What a roller coaster of emotions.

As the Spurs season is over in dramatic fashion, I am left with a variety of emotions. I know you are probably asking yourself why another post on basketball, well, plainly I wanted to share my own opinion on why this playoff was so hard. There will be more food and recipe posts coming, but for now, we are sad (as is the case in the world of sports when “your” team loses).

I don’t know exactly how the spurs went from being called one of the greatest teams ever, joining the likes of the great Celtics, Lakers and bulls teams of previous eras, to losing 4 straight games. Going into the series we were nervous of this Thunder team. After watching the spurs in the previous two rounds, I wasn’t that confident in them. I wasn’t as impressed as others were. Maybe I was missing something.

The thing is at the end of the day (or series) the Thunder were the better team. We congratulate them on that. I was a huge Kevin Durant fan and every time he shoots the ball, I just feel like it is going in. he is that good. Boston fans can relate in the way that every time Paul pierce takes a shot, it is going in. just like the other night with LeBron’s hand in his face, you just knew it was going in. I love the way Durant plays. He is one of the best shooters and scorers in the game. He is so long that he can score over anyone. But is also quick enough to drive it to the hoop. At the age of 23, he has a great basketball IQ. (note, I got the privilege to see him live last year and he is amazing. The OKC fans are great as well. love the atmosphere. Don’t always love the individualism of some players but great team)

As an nba fan, I admit that the better team won. Okc completely took the spurs out of their game. They made tony parker play awful and look timid. Parker didn’t look like one of the best players in the league this year. The spurs showed glimpses of their great offense, but it was few and far between. The thunder’s length got to them and caused turnovers, bad shots, blocked shots and made the spurs look like they wanted no part of the paint. One of the most surprising parts to the series was just how good the thunder’s defense was.

The thunder beat the spurs plain and simple, but the spurs helped them out a lot. It is completely frustrating to watch your team turnover the ball and not protect it. to commit as many turnovers as they did throughout this series, they didn’t deserve to win. I don’t know what happened to my team. They turned in to the spurs team from a few years ago taking way too many 3’s and not protecting the ball. They just couldn’t stop the thunder if they tried. The brilliant passing we saw early in the playoffs was gone. They just couldn’t adjust.

I will miss these spurs. While Duncan may keep playing, I wanted to see this game because if it is the last time I see him play, I wanted to watch one of the best players to ever play the game finish. He finished with a decent game but it just wasn’t enough. I love the way he plays the game though. In a day and age where the game is about self and proclaiming ones greatness, he shied away from the spotlight. He played the game right. He played the game the way it was supposed to be played. He showed the right emotions when it was a big moment in a game. He would cheer on his teammates. But it was never about staring down his opponent or yelling when he dunks or staring down an announcer or waving his hands in the air after a shot. That is why I will miss him and I love the spurs. They show their emotions when they make a big three or a big shot is made, but for the most part, it’s not about bragging or arrogance. It’s against the culture. Their culture is team, many teams and players are all about themselves. The cockiness. The arrogance. I freely admit I am from the old school and am all about acting like you have been there before. I just don’t get the yelling, the taunting, the finger pointing, and the me-first attitude.

In the end the spurs lost. There were freak games from OKC players that no one expected. Derek fisher, who as a spurs fan and nba fan i can’t stand, decided to play his best against the spurs as usual. He just destroys the spurs every time he plays them, no matter what uniform he is in. he may not score 20 or 30, but he can hit those daggers when it counts.

One of my biggest problems during this series was the referees. There were just some flat out awful calls and no calls during this series. Not just for the spurs but for okc too. I hate the flopping. I hate how much flopping goes on and it seems the refs fall for it every time. Fisher is one of the all-time greats at flopping and drawing calls, maybe it helps that he is (or was) head of the players union. I have always been in the camp of conspiracy theorists in the nba. It’s funny how everyone knows about make up calls yet it has been an epidemic for a long time. It’s amazing how some players can get mugged and not a foul gets called, yet you breathe on a superstar and it’s a foul. It’s amazing that certain refs still have jobs, let alone get a monster game 6. All of this to say, the nba needs to do something about the refs. The spurs didn’t lose because the refs. But there were just awful calls throughout. Game changing calls that were crucial.

So today we are sad for the spurs. The end of an era. Most likely to follow the steps of the Jazz or bulls in their rebuilding meaning taking many years to get back to a level of relevancy yet not winning a championship. When they are on, I love the way they play because it is so old school and beautiful basketball. I miss those days. I will always be a spurs fan but it is going to be tough for a few years. They were a team that should have won more than 4 titles during this run. It is getting tougher to watch the nba because of the where the game is heading, the flopping, the refs, the individualism. I love the game. I love watching it. but with the nba controlling trades/drafts (ewing draft, Lakers trade for gasol, Chris Paul trade) and favoring the big markets it’s amazing when the spurs and okc can win.

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