Perhaps you're takeaway from the game was that the Spurs can't beat good teams, or win close games, or that they miss critical free-throws. Mine was that the Spurs look hungry and are starting to play some great basketball. The odds of them winning a championship haven't been appealing to me this year, but I decided that the 10-1 shot bookmakers were giving them on Friday morning was long enough with the team putting it together.
Last season's championship, after so many years of yearning for one more banner in the AT&T Center's rafters, was so deeply satisfying for me that I haven't really cared how well the Spurs did this season. Losses haven't hurt and wins are just, you know, nice. I didn't consciously approach this season like that, it just happened. Complacent. But starting with the Bulls game last Sunday my passion for the team was re-lit and watching the team play such pretty against the Cavs was like throwing gas on the fire.
I may have skin in the game now, which makes the Spurs winning it all intellectually exciting, but I now WANT a sixth banner. I want it for the fun, for the pride and for the team, but mostly, I want it because Timothy Theodore Duncan clearly wants it. I don't know how he keeps his fire lit after all these years, but his passion for the game and his commitment to excellence are inspiring.
Here's a perfectly executed hammer: Kawhi Leonard with the misdirection, the back screen by Tiago Splitter on the unsuspecting Matthew Dellavedova to spring Patty Mills to the corner, the nice pass from Kawhi and finally the pure stroke from Mills. Pretty.
Here's a high pick-and-roll from Tim and Tony Parker that draws the attention of the Cavs interior defense and leaves Tiago Splitter wide open for the easy bucket.
This one is so much fun. Tim stuffs and then takes the ball away from Kevin Love before running the floor to be in position for Tony to find him open for a layup with a spectacular over-the-shoulder drop off.
Kawhi Leonard loves to compete against LeBron. The challenge raises his game and it's special to watch.If he finds Duncan's secret to consistency, the league better watch out.
Here's another Tim/Tony PnR. This one ends with a great bounce-pass to the baseline-cutting Danny Green. Kevin Love almost got to that one.
Let's finish up with a dunk from Duncan. The lane was open for Big Fun most of the night and after the Cavs switch the PnR on this play Timmy throws it down on game-hero, Kyrie Irving. Meanwhile, Kevin Love is preparing to grab a rebound.
Until next time, this team is so easy to root for.