It’s the shot that will be replayed in the heads of Spurs fans for decades to come. The shot that will replace Derek Fisher’s .4 or Manu Ginobili’s foul on Dirk in Game 7.
With 48 seconds left and the Spurs down two points, Tim Duncan drove into the paint as he’s done thousands of times before. As he turned and elevated to shoot his patented hook shot, my excitement grew. This was it. The shot that would tie the game and eventually lead to a fifth championship.
Except this time, he missed the hook shot. And he missed the tip-in after grabbing his own rebound. And even with that heartbreaking moment, the Spurs showed tremendous class and respect, by congratulating the Heat after the game went final.
Tonight was a changing of the guard for the Spurs. Tim Duncan led San Antonio with 24 points, 12 rebounds, 4 steals and 2 assists. While the future leader of the silver and black, Kawhi Leonard, added 19 points and 16 rebounds. Ginobili and Parker had 18 and 10 respectively.
For the Miami Heat, if you take away Chris Andersen’s three points, then only four players scored for the Heat tonight: Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Mario Chalmers and Shane f****** Battier. King James proved why he’s currently the best player in the world, with an easy 37 points and 12 rebounds. The injured Dwyane Wade added 23 points and 10 rebounds, with Shane Battier scoring 18 points off the bench, all on six three pointers.
No matter how devastating this Game 7 loss is, one thing is for sure – the Spurs made an entire city proud of what they accomplished. After years of being called old and boring, both of those narratives were shed in the last two weeks. San Antonio constantly gave Miami hell, but the Spurs just couldn’t land a single haymaker no matter how many times they put the Heat on the ropes.
Ginobili made you want to rip your hair out, Danny Green slightly wilted under the pressure, Tony Parker struggled to get going because of LeBron James, and Tim Duncan looked…old. But I would rather have had this experience, than to see the Spurs get eliminated how they did last year, with the media continuing to question their age and ability.
Will anyone write off the Spurs dynasty as dead? San Antonio was 28 seconds away from hanging up a fifth championship banner. And a couple mistakes and unlucky breaks cost them that chance.
But there’s honestly no words I can put together right now, to make anyone feel comfortable and satisfied. The truth is, second place is just the first loser. And now with the off-season starting, questions about the Spurs roster will begin to resurface.
The most we can do is accept what happened. Because as fans, that’s something we can control. Everything else is up to the players and the Spurs front office. The same guys that have built this city a roster to win four championship, and nearly a fifth. And I trust them, as always.
So congratulations to the Miami Heat. You fought like hell and earned that one. But the Spurs will definitely rebuild, reload, and fight to get back here again next season.
Thank you to all the Spurs fans that have supported us here at Air Alamo this season. We can’t thank you enough, as you guys are the real MVP’s. One last time to end the 2012-2013 season. Go Spurs Go.