Call it jumping on the bandwagon. If you feel obligated, bust my balls for being a Johnny come lately. Go ahead and say that I’m only joining the Spurs fan club because they’re about to turn the Miami Heat into the June laughingstock of the league again. Have at it because I simply don’t care. And you’ll have to excuse me if I’m not anxiously awaiting the moves that Stand Pat Pax won’t make this summer for a Bulls team in desperate need of a redesign.
The San Antonio Spurs are as close to basketball perfection as we’ve seen in this league since the ’01 Lakers (a team that won 11 straight to open those playoffs). 20 wins a row with no signs of slowing down. The streak may not reach 21 because of the Thunder’s brilliance in front of their crazed fans, but the streak is but a number when you watch this team outclass a star studded Thunder squad.
It would be amazing to see a team everyone (including yours truly) has written off for years roll to another title. I could watch these hoops surgeons play all day on a loop and never get bored. They are the complete opposite of the train wreck Clippers (who blew a 24 point lead to these Spurs) that are nothing more than a glorified And-1 team littered with my turn possessions and mindless isolations.
The Spurs move the ball with grace and precision like they’re the basketball version of the ’89 49ers. They share the ball, make you defend the entire floor & leave you gasping for air as another corner 3 or easy layup goes through the bottom of the net.
Oh, you want to try and outscore them? Go ahead and see how that works out for ya. They lead the association in these playoffs in 3-point field goal percentage and overall shooting percentage. In game 2′s 120-111 win vs the Thunder, they continuously got the shot they wanted, despite OKC’s length and athleticism. I don’t how Russell Westbrook had the energy to put on that hideous shirt for the post game presser. Tony Parker (34 points on 16-21 shooting & 8 dimes) ran him ragged off of screens all night, and buried mid range jumpers with ease.
And this isn’t a completely transformed Spurs team. Sure, their stone aged offense that bored us to tears in ’03-’07 has vanished like Manu’s hair, but they still get after you defensively. They clog the lane, force tough shots & rebound like masters. The Heat have no idea what’s awaiting them after they dispatch the decrepit Celtics.
But what I appreciate and love most about this team is their selflessness. There aren’t any egos and me first attitudes. Even Captain Jax can go from coach killing chucker to yes man soldier once he throws on the black, silver & white. They are the Patriots of the NFL in every way. Their coach demands and has the respect of his players and isn’t afraid to coach them when they miss a defensive assignment or miss the open man on offense. It’s all about winning, no matter what you’ve accomplished as an individual elsewhere. S-Jax is this team’s Randy Moss in terms of conforming and leaving your bullshit baggage at the airport.
Seeing Gregg Popovich berate Tony Parker even though the Spurs had a comfortable lead in the 3rd quarter was beyond refreshing. There is a level of expectation with this team, and it’s best players aren’t above hearing the truth.
The same will never be said for Miami where “Spo” couldn’t coach up his stars if he wanted to. It’s a national breaking news story when D Whine tells him to “get the fuck outta my face” after refusing to get back in transition. Could you ever imagine that garbage flying on Pop’s watch? Of course not.
That’s why I’m adopting this Spurs team until the end of June. It’s not solely a matter of Heat hate, it’s reveling in a team playing the game at the highest level and playing it the right way. How can you not appreciate Ginobili’s ability to knife through defenses and score at will, or Kawhi Leonard’s (18 points & 10 boards in game 2) seamless transition from San Diego State to the best team in the world?
While young basketball imbeciles lust after the dunks, showboating & the pink or red pants of the Heat, the Spurs are methodically forming their own identity. One, that with 6 more wins can prove that basketball remains a team sport and not a “one on one-look what I just did” highlight reel.