Monday, June 20, 2005

Spurs Escape Detroit, Up 3-2

The San Antonio Spurs hoped to get out of Detroit up 3 games to 2. With their 96-95 win Sunday they did just that. But the Spurs would have certainly preferred to avoid the humiliation of Games 3 and 4.

During the week spent in Detroit, the Pistons showed why they are the reigning NBA champions. This team is like a brick wall. There were times during the last three games that I could have sworn there were 10 Pistons at a time on the floor. For Games 3 and 4, the Spurs looked disoriented, frustrated and amateur as Detroit all but broke their will with the kinds of dominating performances you just don’t expect in the Finals.

But Game 5 was different. Somehow, someway, the Spurs found the energy to match Detroit and were able to just barely hang on for a one point overtime win. The huge game turned in by the man known as Big Shot Bob (Robert Horry) will undoubtedly go down in Finals lore. This man almost single-handedly defeated the Pistons and rescued Tim Duncan from what was nearly a career defining choke.

After putting up great numbers for almost the entire game, Duncan fell into one of his well-known free throw slumps and compounded that by forgetting how to shoot from just a few feet out. A turnover late in overtime nearly sealed Duncan’s spot in Finals infamy, but Horry drained the shots to save the day. As it is, it will be Rasheed Wallace who faces the harsh words of critics eager to figure out why this all-star left Horry alone to hit the game-winning three.

Up 3-2, the Spurs are right where they want to be and can close out their third championship this Tuesday. Of course, Detroit knows how to dig out of a hole and, as they proved in games 3 and 4, you can’t let up on these guys. Spurs should win this series, but it won’t be easy.


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