1) You guys know that ALL of this started Friday night, right?
While Mike Tirico was losing his voice after Damian Lillard knocked down that series-ending shot that sank the Houston Rockets out of the NBA Playoffs in six games in Portland, Oregon; I think Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich was losing his voice, too.
Only I don’t think he was watching the Trail Blazers play the Rockets. I think Coach Popovich was losing his voice from lighting up his team after losing Game 6 against Dallas. Tony Parker basically said it all in the press conference on how the Spurs lost the game: giving up more than 30 points in the first and fourth quarters was unacceptable. Those words were probably mentioned from time to time in the locker room before he came out.
After destroying the Mavericks 119-96 to move on to the second round, the Spurs came out focused and with bad intentions on the defensive end. This was started in Game 7 by Gregg Popovich. I looked at Popovich’s demeanor at the end of the game—when he took Tim Duncan and Tony Parker out, he didn’t even acknowledge them. He looked like a guy who had plans to go out on Sunday, and his players screwed them up by losing Game 6. Popovich sent a message Sunday: The San Antonio Spurs are here to win a championship. Period.
One person that got the message was Tony Parker, who finished with 32 points to finish off Dallas. Speaking of Parker…