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San Antonio 118, Portland 103 Spurs lead series 3-0 And that thorn is the San Antonio Spurs. (Sorry, I just can’t resist rose puns right now.) To paraphrase Zach Lowe on Twitter, The Spurs are just being bullies now. This is particularly evident in the first halves of these games, in which the Spurs have gone into intermission with 26, 19, and 20 point leads, respectively. Games can not be…

Portland 97, San Antonio 114 Spurs lead series 2-0 These are texts I received from dear friends and Blazers fans during Game 2: “Blazers are good. Spurs are WAY better.” “They are so good.” Even after two games, Blazers fans seem to be accepting their shortcomings in the upgrade in class of competitor. This isn’t about a team not playing well or slumping; this is about a team playing their…

Portland 92, San Antonio 116 San Antonio leads series 1-0 That couldn’t have started any better. After finally coming alive in Game 7 against the Mavs, the Spurs picked up right where they left off, just annihilating the Blazers in Game 1 in all areas of the game. The Spurs offensive machine was humming, the defense was as good as I’ve seen all season, and Portland just looked completely unprepared…

Dallas 96, San Antonio 119 Spurs win series 4-3 Finally, a game between these two teams like we all kind of expected all along. Like the 9 that had preceded it over the last 2 1/2 years. It only took 7 games and 2 weeks, but the Spurs finally looked like the Spurs again. From top to bottom (at least the bottom of the shortened playoff rotation), everybody did what…

San Antonio 111, Dallas 113 Series tied 3-3 It took a wild 3 at the buzzer from Damian Lillard to prevent a record 6 series going to Game 7s in this first round. (As it stands, 5 is still a record.) That’s just how tight this first round is, particularly in the West. Ironically, the Blazers-Rockets series might be the actual closest; the Blazers have just been on the receiving…

Dallas 103, San Antonio 109 Spurs lead series 3-2 Assists are often a helpful barometer for the Spurs team. Tonight the team registered 24 assists (to only 5 TOs, which is pretty incredible). More than assists, though, is just pure ball movement. When this team is at its best, it uses ball (and player) movement to break down defenses, not one-on-one play. For this, you need the eye test. Tonight…

San Antonio 93, Dallas 89 Series tied 2-2 Games late in playoff series are interesting. The teams know each other so well, know each other’s sets, tendencies, and are frankly sick and annoyed of each other. In a lot of ways, there is so much more to think about and talk about, as every little play, every different rotation, every chess move by the coaches matters exponentially. On the flip…

San Antonio 108, Dallas 109 Dallas leads series 2-1 Man, was that a hell of a game. As heartbreaking as the loss is, it’s hard to be too upset about it. It was an insanely good and well played game. It was basically a coin flip. With another possession, the Spurs probably would have won. Had Manu’s shot spun around that rim one more time, the Mavs might not have…

Dallas 113, San Antonio 92 Series tied 1-1 Somebody better let the Spurs know the playoffs have started. The Mavs certainly know. Last night’s dispiriting and embarrassing loss can be sliced a million different ways, viewed from a hundred different angles. When a team gets beat that bad, it’s usually an abundance of things. And it’s usually just one thing. Energy. Effort. Intensity. Commitment. Desire. Whatever broad word we want…

Dallas 85, San Antonio 90 San Antonio leads series 1-0 That one won’t be going in the DVR archive. The playoffs officially began for the Spurs at noon on Sunday, April 20. Unfortunately, they began at noon CST, and the Spurs didn’t start actually playing playoff basketball until noon PST. Fortunately, this didn’t prevent them from getting the win. You know the expression, “They took our best shot and still…