Hello all. This may be a very short or very long debut post of sorts so I really appreciate your time and any attention you are willing to give. I'm now a former lurker having done so for a fair amount of time at this forum. To give a quick background, I'm 22, from SA, a lifelong Spurs fan and starting medical school in July (up the road at Temple) and even medical school interviews as an applicant fail to PSYCHE me out anywhere close to the crazy roller coaster ride that Spurs playoff games do. I'm sure many can sympathize with me at this blog. It felt as if with every Spurs playoff loss, a piece of my soul would cease to remain alive. Call me diehard or obsessive, but that's simply how the games affect me.
Flashback to the much maligned game 6 of last year's Finals. Me and two friends watching the game at BJ's. Spurs up, but only just. We're already talking about running over to the nearby Academy store to get the championship gear at the final buzzer. Elation is all but palpable through the air as the entire crowd in attendance is chanting the all familiar "Go Spurs Go".
Ray Allen's 3 pointer drops.
Game 7 felt like an inevitable formality. I remember how some bloggers couldn't even muster the internal fortitude to even watch the game, and I don't hold that against them in the slightest.
All through the offseason, the series pestered my mind at any given moment. I'd be driving home from my summer class and give a sudden outburst of "Of all the [expletive] ways that ball could have bounced, it had to go to Chris Bosh's hands!?" I'd be lying awake at night I'll think about what I have to do the next day when out comes, "Of course Shane [expletive] Battier decides to hit every [another expletive] 3 pointer he looks at in Game 7 when he's been nothing but a ghost up to that point in the series." Again, either a diehard or obsessive. I'll let you be the judge of that.
Finally, the 2013-14 season tips off and I could sense a modicum of healing in that the Spurs still appeared to be the Spurs. They still remained at the top of the league. Best road record. Best overall record. This was in spite of the team dealing with a myriad of injuries to key pieces throughout the season. The confidence returned to where, ultimately, I began to believe this team could right what I truly believe is the greatest wrong of Tim Duncan's surefire Hall of Fame career in losing the 2013 Finals. Those were my thoughts as my hope and faith grew as the regular season came to a close.
So here come the in-state rival Mavericks.
"We swept them in the regular season. We should take care of this in 4, 5 games tops. No way they have the horses to stick with us. Meanwhile, we get to watch as Hou/Por go at each other throats," I thought. Goodness, how naiveté can win the day sometimes.
Of course there's also an underlying sense of foreboding much like the first ascension right before the first big drop of a roller coaster ride.
After game 1, I figure, "That was the best shot Dallas could have possibly given us. We should take care of business no problem now."
Next game, a 21 point loss in a game I could only recall as a clinic.....in turnovers.
I could recall how much adrenaline I felt pumping through my body in games 3-6. The sweat secreting forth from my palms and feet were very evident. The stress, anxiety and shock at Carter's game-winner in Game 3 damn near broke me. At the same time, I exhibited a different emotion as I watched each game through Game 6. Every time I saw Dirk swish another jumper, Ellis score by driving through the lane, Carter or Harris hitting a 3, or even Dejuan Blair getting a bucket each from off of one of our turnovers. A new feeling I hadn't felt even through the previous year's Finals as disappointing and heartbreaking as it was: a bizarre sense of frustration.
"Where did the Spurs go? The offense has become stagnated! The defense is being made to look porous! And now, we can't even close out a series when being up after 3 quarters of an elimination game!" And that's more or less the G rated version of what I was actually saying.
So Game 7 rolls along and it feels like the biggest breath of fresh air in over 2 weeks time. The offense rolled, the defense frustrated, and the Spurs simply looked like the Spurs again. In spite of all the ups and downs, twists, turns and loop de loops customary of a roller coaster ride, we come around and the team we ride with brings it home...
...only to realize the ride begins again on Tuesday. Hi Portland.