It all started on April 15, when the San Antonio Spurs took on the New Orleans Pelicans. The Spurs needed to win in order to get home court in the first round of the playoffs. They dropped the game which dropped them to sixth place. Had the Spurs won they would’ve finished in second place and they would’ve faced with a winnable series against the Dallas Mavericks.
May 2, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker (9) reacts in the fourth quarter of game seven of the first round of the NBA Playoffs against the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center. Clippers won 111-109. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Instead of facing the Mavericks, they had to take on the 56-26 Los Angeles Clippers. Despite not having home court, many people believed that the Spurs would still win as the Clippers usually melt in the playoffs.
The Spurs were sharp early in the series as they had a 3-2 series lead, with game 6 at home to close it out. The Clippers outplayed them on the road and won 102-96. The result was a bit surprising as the Spurs rarely lose at home in close out games under Coach Gregg Popovich.
Game seven at Staples Center was a classic that both teams wanted equally, the Clippers made one extra play down the stretch to win the game.
What the Spurs didn’t do well against the Clippers?
-The Spurs lost two of three games on their home floor. They lost game four 114-105 and game six 102-96.
-Allowed the Clippers to score at least 100 points in six of seven games.
–Kawhi Leonard Cooled off When it Mattered
After averaging 24.8 points in the first four games of the series, Kawhi Leonard cooled off significantly. He averaged 14.3 points in the last three games and he shot 30% from the field. In the first four games he shot over 50% from the field in each game.
–Tony Parker Underperformed
Going into the series most people knew that Tony Parker wasn’t going to be the player that won Finals MVP and is known to perform at a high level in the playoffs. Parker truly disappointed as he averaged 10.9 points and shot 36% from the field. He did have a terrific game seven (20 points), which makes one wonder what would’ve happened if he showed up prior?
-Not Enough Minutes for Patty Mills
Patty Mills was without question the most productive shooter in the series. He shot 57% from three and 50% from the field. Mills averaged a cool 10.1 points in only 16.3 minutes. Mills hot shooting plus Parker’s lack of production, only means one thing, play Mills more.