May 27, 2013; Memphis, TN, USA; San Antonio Spurs center Tiago Splitter (22) rubs the head of power forward Tim Duncan (right) after game four of the Western Conference finals of the 2013 NBA Playoffs against the Memphis Grizzlies at FedEx Forum. The Spurs won 93-86. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports
ESPN Writer J.A. Adande wrote a great piece on the San Antoino Spurs and how they have never lost their finals touch. There are many that are still wondering how in the world the Spurs managed to destroy the Memphis Grizzlies, let alone do it in just four games. I was listening to ESPN 1250 here in San Antonio and they played a recording from Gregg Popovich that made me sit back and think that he was right. Popovich stated that they didn’t by any means outplay the Memphis Grizzlies. He went on to state that it was a matter of a play here or there that could of changed the landscape of the game.
Looking back to us fans, it sure did look like San Antonio manhandled the Grizzlies and exploited every area they could. Maybe this is the reason why the trio of Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker have won their 98th playoff game with one another. This is a team that was assembled together because of what they have developed into, not what money has bought them.
May 27, 2013; Memphis, TN, USA; San Antonio Spurs chairman Peter Holt hoists the Western Conference championship trophy in the locker room after game four of the Western Conference finals of the 2013 NBA Playoffs against the Memphis Grizzlies at FedEx Forum. The Spurs won 93-86. Mandatory Credit: Rogelio V. Solis/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports
“It’s rare what we have,” an appreciative Duncan said. “I know it. I know it’s rare what we have. Rare for the confidence that they have in Pop and the front office, rare for us playing together for so long. There’s a lot of rare air here. And it’s fun to be a part of it, honestly. It’s an honor to be a part of it.”
To me there hasn’t been a team this assembled and able to do what they have done in years than back when the great Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls were walking through the NBA year after year. This Spurs team may not live up to what the Bulls team of the 90’s were but you have to admit, watching them grow together and knowing where each other is on the floor is a work of art.
In this same article, Gregg Popovich talked about how staying the course and not trading guys left and right have proven to be their formula.
“I think a lot of people think the grass is greener on the other side,” Popovich said, “and if we change this coach or trade these guys, it’s all going to be nirvana after that. I think if you stay the course and you’ve got leaders who are quality character people, you follow them as long as you can. I’ve been hanging on Timmy’s coattails a long time.”
After Tony Parker’s 37 points in the game four clincher for the San Antonio Spurs, his promise to Duncan has all come into place.
“I promised to him that we will go back, go back to the Finals and get an opportunity to win the whole thing, and I’m going to do my best,” Parker said.
May 27, 2013; Memphis, TN, USA; San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich (right) talks with point guard Tony Parker (9) in the second half of game four of the Western Conference finals of the 2013 NBA Playoffs against the Memphis Grizzlies at FedEx Forum. Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports
The San Antonio Spurs now have the longest break since these playoffs started, nine days to be exact. They will face the winner of the Miami Heat and the Indiana Pacers. Game four of that series tips tonight.
Parkers last words are one that many have uttered through-out their careers. Talking about everyone wants to be you and be the one to knock you off. He also states that it makes it even better being able to reach the finals after years have passed, 2007 was their last trip.
“Every team wants to beat you,” Parker said. “And that’s why it makes it even more special to go back after all those years playing at a high level with the same coach, with the same big three.”