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What We Learned from the Spurs loss to the Warriors

Another tough 4th quarter dooms the Spurs

Golden State Warriors v San Antonio Spurs Photos by Michael Gonzales/NBAE via Getty Images

I’ve seen a few complaints going around about how, for the 2nd straight year, the Spurs have not been featured on a nationally televised game. People are walking around shaking their fists at the heavens and doing their best Rodney Dangerfield impression. Here’s the thing though...I think it’s probably for the best. No one else needs to see this. We’re under construction. We’re behind the curtain. We’re not ready for primetime. Not yet.

The Spurs are, without a doubt, having a tough season. Sure, there have been things to like and encouraging signs littered throughout the campaign. Dejounte Murray’s true breakout year has been a joy to behold. Derrick White and Keldon Johnson have shown flashes of how good they can be in the right situation. Young guys like Primo and Vassell have potential coming out of their ears. My personal favorite, obviously, has been Jakob Poeltl transforming from well meaning big man to a something more akin to a kindly tree guardian imbued with the power to slip a double team on the pick and roll. This team has given us fans many blessings that we should not take for granted. This team is also ...kind of a mess.

Which is fine! They’re allowed to be a mess. The goals for this season fall somewhere in the ambiguous disputed territory between “Be Good” and “Not Too Good”. We’re all learning lessons and gaining life experiences and the Spurs are, you know, laying the foundation for a bright future, etc, etc. One again though, I have to stress, this thing doesn’t look great right now. We’re deep in the “sausage making” part of the process. This game against the Warriors last night is a little bit like you’re kid bringing home the picture they drew in art class. You’re so proud of them and you tell them so! You hang it on the fridge and think fondly of it. You also...maybe hide it when company comes over. No one needs to see that your kid thinks a horse looks like that.

I sent a rude meme to my friend who is a Lakers fan yesterday. It was great! Everyone is making fun of the Lakers right now and I’m 100% also going to do that. If you have the means, I highly recommend it. The Lakers are big and loud and take up a lot of oxygen in the NBA conversation regardless of whether or not they’re up or down at the moment. It doesn’t matter. That’s the role they were built for. The upside is that they get all the attention all the time. The downside is that, even when they probably wish everyone would just look away for bit, they are still going to get all the attention. They’re getting a massive spotlight shown on all their little slip ups and mistakes. They’re getting blown out on national television. They’re getting memed.

Is that what we want? I don’t think so. Let’s take a second to appreciate our little fiefdom down here. We do what we want when we want it. So Dejounte Murray didn’t make the All-Star team. Who cares? It’ll probably make him better in the long run. So our game against the Grizzlies got bumped off ESPN. Did you really want to listen to Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson squabbling all night while you’re trying to enjoy the subtle art of player development? NO.

We’re much better off over here in the shadows. Suffering these little indignities and slights in silence makes us tougher and better. No one needs to see us bleed. When the Spurs are barnstorming the league next year (or the next year) ((shoot, or the next next next year, whatever)) everyone will be blindsided. They’ll be like, “Oh my, the Spurs just came out of nowhere!” and we’ll be able to sit there with a smile on our face and say, “Nowhere is exactly where we came from.”

Takeaways:

  • I’m not going to spend a single precious minute of my time on this earth being upset that the Spurs blew a giant 4th quarter lead to some guys off the street wearing Warriors jerseys. Not a chance. Life’s too short. We’re too blessed to be stressed. Let the coaches deal with that. Let the players watch film and learn from their mistakes. The best part of being in the Peanut Gallery is that we get to move on immediately. When’s the next game? Thursday? Perfect.
  • Ok, maybe one second. I don’t care who is on the floor for the other team, you gotttttttta hold on to a 17 point lead. 17 feels like it’s right on the threshold of being the type of thing you can’t cough up. 10 point lead? You’re basically three bad shots from blowing that. It’s barely a lead. 12? Ok, 12’s not great but it’s still pretty close. 15? Depends on how much time is left. 15 point first half lead is nothing. 15 point 4th quarter lead? You maybe need to finish that off. A 17 point lead? Yea, I think that’s officially pretty embarrassing.
  • The biggest loss of the night, obviously, was our sweet by Jakob Poeltl going down with a head injury. I hate that for him. It’s also pretty bad news for the Spurs if he’s going to miss significant time or, like, I guess it’s “good” news depending on which side of the “we need more ping pong balls” meridian you fall. Regardless, feel better Jakob! You’ve only just started to realize how good at dunking you are!

WWL Post Game Press Conference

- The last time you did one of these “press conferences”, you forgot to do the thing where you put my part in italics. Do you think anyone noticed?

- Oh man, really? That’s super embarrassing. If your parts weren’t in italics then it would look like I was just over here talking to myself.

- I know. Can you imagine how bad that would look? Just some guy doing an imaginary press conference with himself like a crazy person.

- How would that even work? I’d do...what? Make up questions to ask myself?

- I mean, I guess so, right?

- Ha, yea, I’d probably end up creating increasingly weird and elaborate scenarios just to make my life seem more interesting. I’d use it as a way to like, inflate my own ego, make myself seem way smarter or cooler than I actually am. I’d probably set myself up for jokes where I could say the punchline, but act like I just came up with it on the spot. Real sicko stuff.

- Woof, yea, that would be nuts. Thankfully I’m a real person asking you real questions. Now, let’s get back to the #journalism. What’d you think about the Spurs 4th quarter performance last night?

- They stunk.