Jun 06, 2012; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; San Antonio Spurs point guard Gary Neal (14) dribbles as Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Derek Fisher (37) defends during the first half in game six of the Western Conference finals of the 2012 NBA playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-US PRESSWIRE

Spurs Link-And-Roll – 6.8.12


Jesse Blanchard of 48 Minutes of Hell: “Some of it has to do with the fact that the only association we’ve had previously with Jackson are memories of him hoisting a trophy after hoisting a number of big shots. But mostly I believe it’s our appreciation for his competitive resolve, which is perhaps surpassed only by our own Manu Ginobili. I first heard about the trade for Jackson in the same manner through which Jackson received the news. Via a missed phone call and then text. And as I imagine Jackson did at discovering the news, an irrationally large smile crept across my face and remained there for most of that day. I say irrational because how else would you describe that much joy over an overpaid, 30-something year old shooting guard that was, at the time, practically shooting his age from the field and a worse percentage from the three-point line?”

Tim C. of Pounding the Rock: “For the last 13 years, there have been 3 teams that have consistently dominated the league, all of them from the Western Conference: The Lakers, Spurs, and Mavericks. Since 1999, those 3 teams represented the Western Conference in the NBA Finals every single year. That’s 13 consecutive seasons that one of three was in the Finals, and they won 10 championships between them. The rivalries developed during this extended period of inter-dynastic war led to some of my favorite moments as a Spurs fan, and I’m sure Mavericks and Lakers fans can probably agree to having some great memories of the Age of Tim, Kobe, and Dirk. As those teams have grown longer in the tooth with each passing season, sports media have alternately declared each of them “done”. But, the Western triumvurate just kept coming back, kept winning and kept all outside competitors at bay.”

Spurs’ season reaches market top.

Buck Harvey of the San Antonio Express News: “Charles Barkley says he would like to see Tim Duncan retire, and Barkley is not the only one. The Jazz and Clippers, among others, would have preferred to see Duncan leave a year ago. Barkley, instead, says he wants to remember Duncan the way he was, and it’s a common sentiment. Some stars hang on too long, until they become sad figures. Barkley’s own finale bordered on that. But Duncan has a few things on his side. His style of play is one, and his relationship with Gregg Popovich and Manu Ginobili is another.”

Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News: “A lockout-shortened season later, in which the Spurs won 50 of 66 regular-season games, swept the first two rounds of the playoffs and came within two victories of their fifth NBA Finals before losing another Game 6 to another young juggernaut in Oklahoma City, players returned home Thursday certain — publicly, at least — of the direction they are headed.”

Jason Rogers of Project Spurs: “Officials may affect margins, but they do not affect outcomes. The Spurs’ third quarter collapse had nothing to do with the officiating. Had the Spurs been able to make anything in the third quarter, they would have held the lead. Had they not begun the fourth quarter with 4 turnovers, they could have retaken the lead. There’s no question that there were some horrible calls that took points off of the board in the fourth quarter, and that made a late charge more difficult. But this game was decided in the third quarter when the Spurs handed all of the momentum to the Thunder right out of the halftime locker room.”

Aaronstampler of Pounding the Rock: “The thing that kills me about Duncan is how nobody can remember anything beyond last week. There’s this myth about him — one attached to a lot of Spurs, unfortunately — that he was never a terrific athlete and this “big fundamental” game was due to him never being able to run or jump. To be fair, it’s a story that both Duncan and Pop have been all-too-happy to run with over the years. I think it gives them a perverse chuckle, seeing how stupid everyone is.”

Highs and lows of the Spurs’ 2011-12 season.

Tharn of Pounding the Rock: “Welcome to San Antonio Spurs fandom, where the highs are incredibly high and the lows are so far down you’ll have time to scream twice before you hit the bottom. To me, this is the biggest difference between being a Spurs fan and a fan of, well, any other team. All sports fans like to use the term “good guys” when describing their teams but what if your team is actually populated with good guys? By that I mean good human beings? If there isn’t a guy on your team who spits on fans, throws somebody through a window at a bar, fathers children out of wedlock, or heck for the most part, doesn’t even stand on the court and flex their muscles after making shots, holds their hand up to their ear to “hear” the crowd, or even pound their chests in exultation after a spectacular play?”

J.R. Wilco of Pounding the Rock: “No, in addition to all of these things, there has to be a defensive scheme put in place that effectively trumps that of the Spurs. But no defense is perfect. Every time you take something away from an offense you give something else back. And I’m sure that, given time, Pop and his coaches could have devised a system, or merely tweaked the one they use, that would have taken advantage of the Thunder’s schemes in the same way (if not to the same extent) they did in Games 1 and 2. Maybe they even came up with it the day after the loss in Game 3. Problem is, they didn’t have an entire season to perfect that system and make it fluid to the point where everyone was operating without thinking, and the points flowed like the wine on a Friday night doing the off-season at Pop’s vineyard.”

Video: ESPN’s Bayless, Legler talk about the officiating in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals.

Tags: San Antonio Spurs