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PLAYOFF PICK AND ROLL

I have to give the Spurs credit. I did not see this one coming. A game after hounding the Dallas Mavericks into a second half meltdown, the Spurs come out looking tired and unmotivated. Sure, the Mavs have earned the relatively lax attitude the Spurs have afforded them, playing arguably their worst basketball since acquiring their new headliners in the blockbuster All Star Weekend trade that was supposed to transform them into a contender, but that doesn’t seem like quite a good enough reason to let one slip away the way they did tonight.

Still, barring tonight's nigh unwatchable performance, the Spurs have impressed me greatly. I could never have foreseen a marquee win in Dallas to steal home court, nor could have imagined the intense dedication the Spurs showed to secure two critical home wins. To me, this team looks like the old Spurs. It looks like a team ready to go all the way. They are playing incredible defense, forcing a fifteen point turnaround to win game four at home after trailing by twelve at the half. They are playing tough and most importantly, they are playing smart.

I had the pleasure of being in San Antonio for game four, and believe me, the feeling was good. The AT&T Center was electric. The noise was deafening. The fans want this one and we want it bad and believe me, the players know it. They felt it. They fed off it. They delivered. Even though the big three struggled to get on track, the Spurs had the swagger of champions in that building, and the backup three took up the mantle and proved that every “dog” certainly has his day, delivering a knockout blow with their steady play and ruthless, hounding defense. To me, they looked like the players we had been hoping for all year.

But all of that is in the past now, and with Dallas eking out a 20+ victory at home it looks like the tide may be turning. Still, I think the Spurs have the juice to go all the way, and with any luck this little wakeup call will serve as a reminder that the Dallas Mavericks were the number 2 seed for a reason. It’s time to step it up Spurs. It’s time to put the final nail in this dead horse’s coffin. It’s time to get rested. It’s time to get healthy. It’s time to get ready for game six.

1 comment:

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