It’s no secret that other fan bases think #SpursNation is a spoiled one. To an extent, they’re right. Many of us cannot recall a time where our Spurs weren’t in the playoffs and at least contending for a championship. However, these spoiled tendencies can sometimes translate to a lackadaisical indifference to winning and an ice-cold sting of criticism to losing. As much as I love #SpursNation, I was a little disappointed to see some of the reactions to yesterday’s Game 3. Finger-pointing and blame-laying has been rampant, so I would like to take the time to talk everyone off the ledge.
Yes, there were things the Spurs could have done better throughout the game. However, there is no such thing as a perfect game. There are ALWAYS things that the Spurs can work on, and, knowing Pop, he espouses the same philosophy. We should keep in mind that the Spurs did NOTHING TO LOSE THE GAME. Manu hit a potentially game-winning shot; it wasn’t as if the Spurs had an epic collapse like…well, never mind.
Yes, bench-play has been a bit underwhelming. However, we were naïve to think that what the bench did in the regular season would automatically translate to the postseason. For many of these guys, this is the first time that they have had to play in the playoffs under the weight of winning a championship. Nerves can be expected. Also, our bench is made up of shooters: just as they can get hot, they can get cold. The likelihood of the latter increases in a playoff series where one team is focused solely on stopping them from shooting threes.
Yes, that shot was a gut-check. I’m talking a screaming-into-my-pillow-while-crying-and-asking-God-why type of gut-check. (Sorry, I just got a little personal there) However, it wasn’t as if there was a breakdown on the defensive end for the Spurs. Manu played about as good of a defensive possession as we could have hoped in that situation. He didn’t foul, and he didn’t leave that-old-bald-Mavericks-guy-who-shall-not-be-named wide open. There were only 1.7 seconds left on the clock, so all the Mavericks could hope for was a miracle-lucky-desperation shot to go in. Luckily for them, and unfortunately for us, they got their wish.
However, we must keep into perspective that that’s all the last shot was: LUCK. We didn’t lose this game; the Mavericks just stole it. Of course, there are concerns of momentum shifting to Dallas, given how well they played. Of course, #SpursNation was HIGHLY annoyed watching Mark Cuban celebrate as if his team won a championship. (You’re doing too much, Mark.) Of course, it’s frustrating turning on ESPN just to hear Skip Bayless gripe and moan about how "His Spurs" aren’t perfect. But, assigning blame isn’t the answer to these questions. That’s not the "Spurs Way". That’s not our way.
As a spoiled fan base, we are facing something that we don’t normally face: adversity. However, as another Pounder pointed out, this isn’t the first time we have faced this feeling. It isn’t as if we don’t know what it means to lose; it’s just that we don’t face it often. We have survived ridiculous, lucky, desperation threes from OLD (and I do mean old) bald guys before. (Derek Fisher and Ray Allen, I’m looking at you). We’ll survive this one.