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Victory Disease and the San Antonio Spurs




We've all heard the story tonight. The San Antonio Spurs have suffered their worst (and thankfully, only) loss of the 2012 postseason. While some will point to the poor officiating as an excuse, or others to Pop showing he is still human and not the perfect coach, this game's narrative is simple: The Spurs played like crap. The Thunder played reasonably well.

But perhaps the biggest reason for the loss can be traced back to the twelfth of April of this year. Tim Duncan bounced back from a mediocre effort against the Los Angeles Lakers to go off for 28 points and 12 rebounds against the Memphis Grizzlies. This would begin a 10 game winning streak to end the regular season, and with sweeps against the Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Clippers in the playoffs the streak ballooned to 18. With the Spurs holding serve on their home court for the first two games against the Oklahoma City Thunder, the streak reached a record breaking 20 wins.

And although the team and Pop vehemently denied that the streak was on their minds, perhaps it really was. I wouldn't be surprised if some of the younger guys felt complacent due to it, but when even been-there-done-that veterans like Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili are simply going through the motions during the game, perhaps victory disease got even to them.

If Game 3 against the Clippers was the Spurs' Marengo (Napoleonic analogies are very easy to come by with Parker taking the team leader role), then I sincerely hope Game 3 was not their Leipzig.

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