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“We Shall not cease from exploration, And the end of all our exploring Will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” –T.S. Eliot The postseason is upon us, and this year feels like the culmination of a 4-year transformation for this team, perhaps the final permutation of the Duncan-Pop Spurs. The 2010 Playoffs ended in ignominy, swept out of the second round by…

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…

San Antonio 98, Houston 104 Congratulations, Houston; you had to work your butts off at home with your starters in a game you really wanted to win to beat a Spurs team that literally could not care less about winning. In fact, I’m pretty sure Pop intentionally lost the game. He could have gone for the win down the stretch and opted to not call time out, not make any…

Phoenix 104, San Antonio 112 With two games to spare, the Spurs have clinched the overall top seed in the league and home court advantage throughout the playoffs. With one more win, they will tie a franchise record for wins; with two more wins, they will set that record, an impressive feat for such a long-standing team of success. In the process of beating the Suns, they have also beaten…

San Antonio 109, Dallas 100 A few thoughts about last night’s game before tonight’s game: –It occurred to me during the first half, as Manu was throwing the ball all over the court (in the bad way) and looked generally out of sorts, that Patty’s ascendence this year is the real counter to this. (Many people argue that Kawhi would be taking Manu’s spot; but Kawhi’s development is a totally…

San Antonio 91, Minnesota 110 I watched two things this evening: The Book Thief, the story of an orphan who is taken in by a German couple at the beginning of WWII, who then hide a Jew in their basement for some time and eventually (spoiler alert) die in a bombing raid. The film is narrated by Death, literally. And this Spurs game. Thematically, a complementary pairing. Remember that game…

Memphis 92, San Antonio 112 I will confess, I was worried about this game all weekend. I was worried that the loss to OKC on Thursday night had magically broken the spell, that the historic level of play this team had reached over the 19-game win streak would suddenly vanish. *POOF* Gone. Thankfully, those fears were quickly put to rest after about 12 minutes. The Spurs couldn’t have played a…

In a game that was almost certainly a “Schedule Loss” well before the 19-game win streak dominated the narrative, we should not put much stock in the actual outcome of last night’s game. Pop certainly doesn’t. In fact, no one is happier than him that his team lost. Let’s play a little “Good Cop/Bad Cop” for the recap: Good Cop: The most important question going into last night’s game: Can…

Golden State 90, San Antonio 111 19 straight wins. Another division title. Yawn. We care because our Spurs don’t. There’s a narrative around the Spurs that always tends to remove humanity from them. Whether they are ‘boring’ (thankfully a notion that has all but disappeared), ‘efficient’, or ‘machine-like’, interchangeable parts plugged into an unstoppable machine, they are rarely described as human. The offense is lauded and roundly admired, but it’s…

San Antonio 103, Indiana 77 Headed in different directions. The Spurs into the high tide of the Playoffs, the Pacers deeper and deeper into stormy weather and choppy water. (I don’t do nautical metaphors well; thank you for your patience.) What can we say about this game? A month ago, this seemed like a huge game, a litmus test for the team’s preparedness heading into the playoffs. Then the Spurs…