(I had this post already mentally written with about two minutes to go in the game and then the Spurs came back. And now I'm all discombobulated. And what's incredibly fitting is that I'm moving tomorrow, so I have to disconnect my cable, t.v. and stereo system tonight.)
Please don't Spurs fans. Just don't. Yes, it was an obvious foul on Derek Fisher. Yes, it should have been two free throws. But, but, but:
1. Derek Fisher's shot with 5 seconds left, the one that hit the Corpse of Robert Horry's knee and went out of bounds, grazed the rim. The shot clock should have been reset, forcing the Spurs to foul. This would have changed everything.
2. The goal tend call on Lamar Odom with under a minute left was incorrect. It looked correct at game speed, but the replace clearly showed he got the ball before it hit the rim. This would have changed everything.
3. Kobe Bryant shot the ball 29 times. He took 0 free throws.
Complaining about free throws is just grasping at straws, like a vanquished foe begging for their life. It's unbecoming.
The story of this game is the really the same as the story for the season: Old and Slow. The announcers repeatedly talked about how the Lakers were "quicker to the ball." Well, yeah. They're quicker to everything. They're quicker answering the door. They're quicker taking a dump. They're quicker.
I mean Robert Horry played 16 minutes. A guy that passed up a wide-open 4 footer played 16 minutes. A guy that has LITERALLY done NOTHING all year to earn a SINGLE minute of playing time plays 16 minutes in the biggest game of the year. Shouldn't this automatically disqualify the Spurs?
Ahh Brent Barry. His play tonight makes me want to find Popovich and force him to give an adequate explanation for his continued infatuation with Michael Finley, who, by the way, was -18 in just under 9 minutes. Pop, long lauded as the master of adjustments, has taken too long to make them this whole playoffs. He waited until game 3 before putting Bowen on Peja, and West didn't even know Tim Duncan was on the defensive end of the court until game 6. Those gaffes almost cost the Spurs the series against the Hornets. Now Pop took too long to figure out Brent Barry should be getting Finley's (and / or Udoka's) minutes. It's inexcusable, really. Against the Hornets he could use the excuse that Barry couldn't defend any of their guards. But against the Lakers? Vujacic and Radmanovic are exactly the type of players Barry can be adequate against.
I didn't mean to turn this into a throw Pop under the bus rant... this is more an exhausted ramble than anything else. And I'm avoiding the obvious topic that has to be addressed. I just don't want to talk about him, you know? It's too soon. The wound is too fresh, and I just want to remember the good times we had.
Sorry this isn't eloquent. Sorry it's not fiery or vehement. I don't even think I managed a curse word in this whole thing. I'm tired, folks. This has been a long season for me, for you, for the Spurs. It's not over. But it's time to say goodbye.