The San Antonio Spurs won a franchise-best 67 games in the regular season, lost only once at home and finished as the No. 2 seed in the West.
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The Spurs started off their quest for a sixth NBA title by sweeping the Memphis Grizzlies in the first-round. In Game 1 of the Western Conference Semis, the Spurs opened up with a 32-point thumping of the Oklahoma City Thunder. Now, with their backs against the wall, a team that was looking dominate now faces elimination.
It’s hard to imagine the Spurs are here after that Game 1 clinic, but nonetheless here they are, on the brink of elimination heading back to OKC for Game 6.
In the Gregg Popovich era, it’s not pretty.
According to ESPN Stats and Info, the Spurs are 2-10 when facing elimination on the road.
The Thunder play well at home (32-9 during the regular season, losing twice in the playoffs), yet the Spurs remain confident.
To become a champion in any sport, you have to be able to perform on the road. The Spurs are heading into Chesapeake Energy Arena where they have won once before, Game 3.
If the Spurs are able to defeat the Thunder, then everything flips back in their favor. That home-court advantage where they went 40-1 during the regular season. The Thunder though would be as confident as their last two trips have resulted in wins.
A loss could lead to another uncertain offseason with the possibility of Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili retiring. More roster tinkering will likely occur as the Spurs try to stay afloat in the West.
It is hard to come to the reality that the day is coming where the ‘Big 3′ will not be on the floor dawning the Spurs’ Silver and Black.
LaMarcus Aldridge summed it up after Game 5, “Just got to go out there and play like it’s our lives on the line.”
Win or go home. Game 6 tips at 8:30 PM EDT on TNT.