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Thank you

By Daniel Strickland on June 5, 2008.

It’s hard to believe that the San Antonio Spurs 2007-2008 season ended just six days ago. It didn’t end where we thought it would, but it sure was one helluva ride. I’d like to thank my fellow contributors — Michael, Brantley, Jake, Kevin and Rene — for making this site a reality. More importantly, I’d like to thank you for reading and for joining us. We had over 100,000 readers this season, which is both amazing and humbling. Thank you. Muchas gracias.

The journey started October 30 in San Antonio with a ring ceremony and a win against Portland. It was obvious within a week’s time that the team was firing on all cylinders. Manu Ginobili looked to be having an All-Star caliber season. By early December the Spurs were 17-3, in first place in the West and looked unstoppable on their quest for a fifth NBA title.

There were setbacks, of course. Tim missed four games in December. Without him, the team still managed to beat the Mavericks and the Jazz. Manu missed five games around New Years and three more in April. Tony Parker missed 13 games total in December and February due to a bone spur in his left heel.

The Spurs 17-3 start was followed by a tough 11-13 stretch in December and January that included losses to the two worst teams in the league — Memphis and Seattle. After six weeks of .500 basketball, the Spurs didn’t look destined to repeat.

In February, the Spurs made some changes to try and turn things around. Damon Stoudamire joined the team. We traded Francisco Elson and Brent Barry to Seattle for Kurt Thomas. The Spurs seemed rejuvenated and won 15 out of 16. In March, Brent Barry rejoined the team and while he recuperated the Spurs closed out the season on a 13-9 roll, including eight straight wins.

It didn’t seem to matter too much at the time, but the Spurs finished third in the West. Just one game separated the Spurs from the Lakers, from having home court advantage in the Conference Semifinals against the Hornets or the Conference Finals against the Lakers. If the Spurs had only won two more games during the regular season…

Last Thursday’s game five loss to the Lakers in Los Angeles felt a lot like the season as a whole — an emotional rollercoaster that started with a bang and ended with a dull thud. The Spurs raced off to an early 17 point lead and then collapsed in the second half. As was true in the regular season, the Lakers ultimately won the West.

After having had a few days to let things sink in, I recall losing faith in this team gradually as the season progressed. Part of me lost faith back in December after that 11-13 stretch. Part of me lost faith when we finished third in the West. Part of me lost faith when we lost game one in New Orleans. And seeing the Spurs squander 20 and 17 points against the Lakers eliminated what little hope I had left. This just wasn’t our year.

That being said, I’m optimistic about the team’s prospects for next season. I don’t believe that time has run out for the Duncan-era Spurs. The Spurs will make changes. The Spurs will have three picks in this month’s draft. Maybe they’ll add a solid backup point guard like Mario Chalmers (Kansas) or an extremely versatile defender like Courtney Lee (Western Kentucky). We have Ian Mahinmi to look forward to, who averaged 17 points and 8 rebounds for the Toros last year. Tim, Tony and Manu will get some well-deserved rest. And Robert Horry will finally retire.

We’ll be here this summer and again in the fall, to praise and critique our favorite team. We hope you’ll join us. Thanks for reading.

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Comments

  1. victor June 9, 2008

    does anyone come to this site?

  2. Dingo June 10, 2008

    I guess you didn’t read my post, Victor. We had over 100,000 unique visitors this season and over 150,000 in the past 12 months, including you.

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