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Make It, Take It

By Jeff Koch on April 16, 2014.

Los Angeles Lakers 113, San Antonio 100

That was a waste of my time.

It’s probably my fault for caring too much, for wanting the team to exert a little effort on defense in a meaningless game on the last night of the regular season against an insignificant opponent. The primary objective of this game was: DO. NOT. GET. HURT. You get hurt playing defense, taking charges, skying for boards in traffic, driving to the lane. No “good to great” tonight; take the easy shot, work up  a sweat…oh yeah, and DO NOT GET HURT.

So mission accomplished. Everybody seemed in on the scheme, too. Neither coach really called any timeouts. The refs were content to let the teams play, calling almost no fouls. That might have been the shortest game of the season. This Lakers team is not the team you want to play in a pick-up style, open gym, running clock type of game. (An actual NBA game, that’s a different story.) They did what they do under D’Antoni, and the Spurs helped them out by trying their best to bend the rims with all the missed shots they were jacking up. Danny Green might have dropped his season 3-pt % by 5 points tonight as crappy as he was shooting.

But none of this matters, other than to my sense of decorum. So there’s nothing to complain about. And yet…I wanted the team to tie the franchise mark for wins. Perhaps I’m spoiled, but I like games with defensive effort. Watching this game was completely uninteresting to me. The Spurs, too, I imagine. And I’ll admit, there’s a prettiness to 62-20 that 63-19 just doesn’t possess. I’ll get off it now.

In more exciting news, Memphis and Dallas fought tooth and nail for the right to avoid us in the first round. The game went to OT, and Memphis just squeaked by. Conley hit two free throws with 1.1 seconds left, and Monta missed a really great look at the buzzer. So Dallas will come to San Antonio on Sunday for Game 1. I think both match-ups were favorable to the Spurs, but I think I’d rather play Dallas just because it will be less taxing on the team in terms of banging bodies and defensive resistance. Plus, I like the idea of Memphis taking on OKC. The way the Grizzlies play, with their two bigs, forces OKC into line-ups that are less efficient for them. I don’t think OKC loses, but it will be a tough first round. (OKC did attempt to blow it by unfathomably losing to Detroit at home tonight. They won the game in the final seconds of regulation. Had they lost and the Clippers won, OKC would have fallen to the three seed. That would have been crazy. Seriously, Detroit is awful. They couldn’t even complete a pass in the final two minutes of that game.)

The regular season is over; it was a roaring success for the Spurs. But we all know nothing matters except the playoffs, particularly coming off of last season. Everything has been reset to zero, and the Spurs have unfinished business and a ring to (re)claim. I can’t wait for Sunday.

Go Spurs Go.

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