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Morning Shootaround: Closing Time

By Jeff Koch on May 15, 2013.

Time to close this thing down.

After a convincing win in Game 5, and an overall trend towards “figuring this thing out”, the table is set for the Spurs to advance to the next round. But the Warriors are nothing if not their namesake, and Game 6 will be a battle, as close out games often are (2012-13 Lakers excluded). I expect the crowd to be in a frenzy, and the opposing team to play with passion, energy, and desperation.

But I also expect poise, execution, and hunger from the Spurs. And I expect a win.

My primary thought after Game 5 (and 9 playoff games in total), heading into Game 6 is: maybe it was Tony Parker all along.

(Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

Could it be that simple? In the second half of Game 5, Parker was finally able to get into that “final 5 feet” on offense, and suddenly the whole thing opened up, and the Spurs we’ve all come to love made their first real appearance of the playoffs. Sure, shots were dropping (as they didn’t in Game 4), but it was more than that: they were the right shots, they were wide open shots, and they were shots there to be taken by design. Players stopped trying so hard to win individually, and winning as a team became a whole lot easier. If we can continue to get this Parker, I like our chances in any game.

And with Memphis finishing off Oklahoma City Wednesday night, it’s imperative to end this series and get a little rest before the Western Conference Finals begin on Sunday. (Either way, we’re playing a game on Sunday.) No putting the cart before the horse, but if we get there, that series will be a war.

For now, there are battles to be won on different fields.

Game 6 tips at 9:30 CDT (7:30 PST) on ESPN.

Go Spurs Go.

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