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2017 Western Conference Playoffs, First Round San Antonio 108, Memphis 110 (OT) Series tied 2-2 I’m of two minds about this game. On the one hand, it was a fantastic basketball game, everything we love about playoff basketball. On the other hand, the Spurs lost. But then again, it was likely Kawhi Leonard’s best playoff game (in a lead performance) and arguably the best 10 minute stretch of playoff basketball…

2017 Western Conference Playoffs, First Round San Antonio 94, Memphis 105 Spurs lead series 2-1 The Grizzlies did what we thought they would do, what they had to do. The lower-seeded team winning Game 3 at home after going down 0-2 to start the series is one of the safest bets in sports, particularly when the disparity between the two teams isn’t enormous (sorry, Pacers). The energy of the home…

2017 Western Conference Playoffs, First Round San Antonio 96, Memphis 82 Spurs lead series 2-0 I suppose we should start with what happened after the game. That was one helluva rant by Coach Fizdale. As an impartial observer, I loved it. Impassioned, well-reasoned (as far as rants go), and highly quotable. Grizzlies fans should love it; it’s a coach absolutely going to the mat for his team. As a Spurs…

2017 Western Conference Playoffs, First Round San Antonio 111, Memphis 82 Spurs lead series 1-0 That was a bad start to the game but a wonderful start to the series. After that first quarter in which Memphis barely missed a shot and San Antonio looked like they were warming up for a rec league game, the Spurs took complete control of the game. The Grizzlies had played well enough in…

The Spurs have a lot to prove in these playoffs. For the Spurs, the 2017 Playoffs aren’t about matchups, or adjustments. They’re barely about opponents. These playoffs are about them, their culture, and a referendum on exactly what kind of team they are. From 2012 to 2014, the Spurs lost in the Conference Finals, lost in the Finals, and won the Finals. It took the perfect storm maturation of 3…

Season 50, Game 82 San Antonio 97, Utah 101 61-21, 2nd in the West Intellectually I understand that these last 3 games didn’t matter. Intellectually I can rationalize the three losses away, explain how we pulled our starters in the fourth, and didn’t go for the wins. The rhythm was more important than anything else. Keep the team sharp and focused without overextending them. This is all intellectually sound. But…

Season 50, Game 81 San Antonio 98, Portland 99 61-20, 2nd in the West Last night’s penultimate game of the regular season is recapped by Stephen Hale and Andrew Flores. Stephen Hale weighs in first: The fourth quarter doesn’t count. Actually this game really doesn’t count. It’s a glorified tune-up game, specifically played for the purpose of getting reps and finalizing that shortened playoff rotation. The Blazers sat basically everyone…

Season 50, Games 79 and 80 San Antonio 102, Dallas 89 San Antonio 87, Los Angeles Clippers 98 61-19, 2nd in the West The playoffs start in one week; thank God. It’s hard to watch “meaningless” games. What makes it even more difficult is knowing that each “meaningless” game can actually have negative impact on the team. Letting off the gas too early and playing for nothin for too long…

Season 50, Game 78 San Antonio 95, Los Angeles Lakers 102 60-18, 2nd in the West Let’s throw out a hypothetical situation: Say there’s this team–call them the “Lasers”. The Lasers aren’t very good. They’re so bad, in fact, that they have one of the three worst records in the league. This isn’t all bad, though, because bad teams get rewarded with high draft picks, as we know. And there…

Season 60, Game 77 San Antonio 95, Memphis 89 60-17, 2nd in the West For the fourth time in about 3 weeks (OK, a bit longer than that, but not much) the San Antonio Spurs and the Memphis Grizzlies played a basketball game. In about 11 days, they will play 4 to 7 more basketball games. So I have nothing to say about this game. It feels like the Spurs…