Silver and Black Attack: San Antonio Spurs Daily
May 31, 2014; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; San Antonio Spurs chairman Peter Holt holds up the Western Conference championship trophy after his team defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder in game six of the Western Conference Finals of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena. San Antonio won 112-107. Mandatory Credit: Sue Ogrocki-Pool Photo via USA TODAY Sports
Bring it on, Miami.
The last time a team lost a Game 7 of the NBA Finals then came back to win the championship the next year was the Bad Boy Detroit Pistons after they lost in 1988.
So, about 1,000 years ago.
Additionally, those Pistons were on the upswing; as told by winning back-to-back championships in 1989 and 1990 before Michael Jordan tore up the league.
The San Antonio Spurs, on the other hand, are on anything but an upswing.
In fact, we fans have been expecting a downswing since 2008, but coach Gregg Popovich won’t let it happen. Tim Duncan is 38 years old, Manu Ginobili 36 and Tony Parker 32. Even 2014 Western Conference Finals MVP Boris Cake Eater Diaw is 32. But Pop has implemented a system in San Antonio where nobody on the team had to play over 30 minutes a game this year, and we’ve certainly seen how beneficially it’s worked for the Spurs through these NBA Playoffs.
Even with a perfect system, the Spurs are going to need a fully healthy Tony Parker to have a chance to get their revenge on the Heat. From NBA.com:
Popovich said Parker sprained the ankle in Game 4 and aggravated it in Game 5. Popovich considered starting Manu Ginobili at point guard in Game 6 against the Thunder because Parker was having trouble during pregame. At halftime, Popovich made the decision to hold him out.
”He came to me about eight minutes on the clock (before the second half) and said he couldn’t go,” Popovich said. ”He couldn’t cut. He was limping on it. He couldn’t cut sideways or forward really.”
Popovich said he thought playing Parker in the second half would have hurt the team in the long term.
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”I didn’t want him to be a hero because he was 50 percent or less, we thought,” Popovich said. ”That’s probably bad for the team if you think about it. It was a tough decision to try to figure out whether to play him, and if you lose the game and it affects him for Monday night, then you’re going to feel like you made an unwise choice.”
Parker has been plagued by injuries this year. He averaged 16.7 points and 5.7 assists while shooting 50 percent from the field during the regular season, but he missed 22 games. He strained his left hamstring in Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals against Portland and did not return. The Spurs won that game easily to clinch the series.
Once again, his teammates bought him some rest. Had the Spurs lost Game 6, they would have faced an elimination game at home Monday against the Thunder.
”We didn’t know how much Tony was hurt in his ankle,” forward Boris Diaw said. ”But we didn’t want to go to Game 7, and we didn’t know if he would be ready to play if we did or if he would be 100 percent, so we tried to get it over with tonight.”
On a happier note, Oklahoma City Thunder big man Kendrick Perkins has expressed that the Spurs simply outsmarted them:
Kendrick Perkins: “The Spurs, they weren’t more athletic than us, they weren’t more talented than us, they just outsmarted us.”
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) June 1, 2014
Serge Ibaka and Kevin Durant tearing up as they leave the floor. Gregg Popovich pulls KD to the side for a quick message.
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) June 1, 2014
When Tim Duncan retires, how do we get Pop and Durant to work together?
The Thunder and Spurs certainly have a mutual respect for each other, and the Miami Heat have attempted to summon respect for the classiest team in the NBA, too. (via Project Spurs):
“They’re going to feel more prepared for this moment,” Wade said, with the Heat playing as the road team in the best-of-seven series that opens Thursday, after holding homecourt advantage last year against the Spurs. “It’s going to have its own challenges.”
“Oh, yeah, absolutely. We know what that feels like,” he (Bosh) said. “Yeah, I mean, it’s extra motivation for those guys . . . we understand that.
“So it’s just something that we have to deal with, and we know that they’re going to be very passionate, and they’re going to play some good basketball.”
I hope the entire Western Conference is rooting for the San Antonio Spurs against the Miami Heat.
Hell, I hope the entire world is hoping the Spurs will force King James’ to abdicate his
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