2017 Western Conference Finals
San Antonio 115, Golden State 129
Warriors win series 4-0
I still have nothing new to say about this game or this series.
With one twist on an ankle, every ounce of drama and suspense was drained from the series. I maintain that the Spurs were not winning this series, despite what the first 29 minutes of Game 1 told me. But my great hope was that there was data to be mined, things to be learned, weaknesses to be probed.
Instead, we got this shitburger of a series. No competition, no drama, nothing learned, nothing gained. You could argue that we learned LaMarcus is not a big moment player and not a #1 option. But we already kind of knew that. The Warriors completely erased him from this series, as they should have done once Kawhi went down. Slot him into a #2 option (or, more importantly, a #3 option), and things look very different for him. Remember, he was tremendous in the first half of Game 1 when everything was in its right place.
Maybe we learned that Patty Mills isn’t ready to be a starter, or that Simmons is. But again, Mills fits best with the second unit or with another creator out there, and he was had neither option available to him. And in the absence of Leonard, somebody had to score the points; might as well be Simmons. He may very well be worth the 8-figure contract he is bound to get, but I don’t think we learned that in this series.
Or maybe you can say we learned about the skill and desire of our young players. This might be the only point I’d concede, but I’d also push back that it’s hard to learn too much when there’s nothing to gain or lose. The young players were able to play loose and free, because they weren’t winning, but this wasn’t exactly losing, either. I think we have some gems in there (Murray, in particular, but also Bertans), but I don’t put much stock in what I saw from these 4 games.
So we’re basically back to where we were a few weeks ago. Essentially, the season ended after Game 6 against Houston. Taken from that perspective, the team is in a very good place, but still has no idea how it measures up against the best of the best.
And that’s just where we’ll have to leave it; unfulfilled and wondering ‘what if?’ We all want to trade LaMarcus and sign Chris Paul and get rid of Gasol and bring back Simmons and Mills, but right now we just wait and wonder. Despite the sour taste of these 4 games, the Spurs are still in excellent position moving forward and we still cheer for just about the best run organization anywhere in sports. That’s good.
(And we’re not going to talk about Manu just yet because Manu is never retiring but if he does we’ll cry a lot and remember all of his crazy plays and then laugh and cry some more and then raise a toast to him. But that won’t matter because he’s never retiring.)
There are no more games to prepare for. The offseason could be very interesting or it could be very dull. We’ll start tackling that after the Finals. For now, let’s just be happy with the season we had.
Go Spurs Go.