Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Spurs Go Soft Down the Stretch, Series Hits Game 7

The San Antonio Spurs showed the world how championships are lost Tuesday night as they collapsed down the stretch in a 95-86 game six defeat. Once again, Detroit was able to turn their game up a notch and leave San Antonio looking confused. Plagued yet again by free-throw problems, Duncan failed to take over the game like one would expect from a superstar. Instead, it was Rasheed Wallace playing with 5 fouls who looked like the MVP in the game’s final minutes.

I guess it should be no surprise that this series is going the full 7. Both teams are tough on defense, talented on offense and able to play at the highest level for long stretches of every game. But, as a Spurs fan, I was hoping to end this in six. Now, I can’t help but wonder how the Spurs are going to win this series. After dominating the first two games, San Antonio has seemed completely bamboozled by Detroit’s defense and are only still alive because of the miracle play of Robert Horry in game 5.

I think the Spurs have a choice. They can either cement their position as one of this decade’s greatest teams or they can claim the infamy of one of this decade’s greatest choke artists. After last year’s collapse to the Lakers after being up 2-0, losing to Detroit after being up 2-0 and then 3-2 would be a disaster for the team’s legacy. I say it’s a choice because I believe the Spurs are the better team. But I think they’ve played games 3, 4 and 6 like they’re guaranteed to win this series.

Even though Detroit is the reigning champions, I don’t think the Spurs have given them the appropriate respect. Simply put, they’ve played soft. Unless they find a fire inside them, it’s not going to be a happy night Thursday. Then again, the Spurs are a very good team. I'm upset with their weak play at the end of Game 6, but I wouldn't bet against them in Game 7.


At 8:25 AM, Blogger Jonathan C said...

Hey, whatever your view on the teams, this has still been the best finals in quite a while!

At 10:30 AM, Blogger Rob Jackson said...

Okay, more on Nofrowns a little later in the day but I'm highly disappointed in the analysis so far. Here's my take:

The Pistons are playing like they're champions...because they are champions.

The Spurs are playing like they're champions, too...and that's the problem. We can't just play our best game and come away with the rings. We have to pry the Larry O'Brien out of their champion-quality kung-fu grip. They have, we have to take it away from them. If we just play our game, I guarantee you the Pistons will play better and find a way to win...this is what happened last night.

Second...will someone please call out Manu rather than blaming this on Duncan?? What a crock of BS!! Duncan was solid last night 21 and 15 somehow isn't enough to get it done? When is someone else going to show up?? Come on believe the ball should be in your hands at the end of the game yet you turn the ball over making stupid passes in the 4th quarter.

Pistons = 5 turnovers
Parker = 4 turnovers
Ginobili = 3 turnovers

They're not going to give it to us. If the game is close on Thursday, the Pistons will win.

At 10:43 AM, Blogger Alan Stewart Carl said...

Manu played fairly well last night too but also disappeared down the stretch and made two costly errors at the end of the game--a turnover and then a forced 3-pointer he had no business taking.

And Tony Parker has butter fingers when he drives.

But what's wrong with calling out Tim Duncan? Either make the shots from the field or make your free throws from the line. He should be bailing his team out, not the other way around. You simply got to hold him to a higher standard.

And I don't think what you said is exactly what I'm saying. The Spurs can't just "play their game." You have to play harder than that in the Finals. The Spurs are remembering the cake walk the Knicks and then the Nets were. But the Pistons are a FAR better team than those Easter Conference spares ever were. That's why the Lakers lost it in 5 last year. They thought all they had to do was play their game. Nu-uh. Gott play harder.

I think Game 7 rides on Ginobili and Parker. I don't think Duncan is going to find his free-throw stroke but I do think Parker and Ginobili can play a lot smarter.

At 12:04 PM, Blogger Rob Jackson said...

Yeah...can you sense my anti-Manu rage?

There’s manumania down here and I just don't think he's that deserving yet. People down here are saying things like "he's the best player on the Spurs" and "he's the best international player in the NBA"

I know he's not the best player on the Spurs...give me a break!

I'm not convinced about the best international player but I am sure of one thing:

If Duncan is the Big Fundamental, Manu is the Anti-Fungalmental, I mean Fundamental. Manu is as fundamentally sound as a rickshaw rolling over a pothole.

At 5:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tiny Tim is boring. Give me Manu any day.


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