Typically when I think of Spurs closing moments I think of Manu and Tim through out the last 6 years or so. I've always felt like things started and ended with these two and the Spurs have been one of the best, if not the best, in close games. They're still here so what's the big deal with this year? Why can't we close out games? Well I shortchanged a certain someone and I think we miss him dearly.
When we think of clutch we usually, or at least I do, think of the last 2 or three possessions but that's not quite fair. I think clutchness really begins in the 4th quarter around the 8 minute mark in a close game. Basically where players start to think about what they do instead of just doing.
Last night was a microcosm of our season. George Hill missed two wide open threes in the right corner and Manu one in the left. Each were huge misses as we only lost by three and each were within the six final minutes of the game.
In the final minute of the game up 1 George Hill was assigned to Derron Williams. Williams drove hard, did that fake cross over with one hand, stopped and popped a 17 footer. George was back peddling and never really had a chance of contesting the shot. Hill is our best perimeter defender but he isn't close to elite yet. This sucks because when we need a stop we can't get one.
And now for nostalgia. Bruce would have hit at least ONE of those threes, right? And I bet the farm he pulls his ancient art of war magic to some how some way make sure Williams doesn't make the game winner there. Am I suggesting we bring him back? No...but the Bruce of old is what this team is missing. Timely back-breaking threes, clutch D and someone who will hold his teammates accountable for defensive lapses. Going into timeouts it was not uncommon to see Bruce irate with someone for botching an assignment; this years team doesn't seem to care as much.
Here's to Bruce, we've never missed you more.