The Spurs just won’t go away. And now they look ready to run to the Finals.
Every year we’re ready to declare the imminent end of the Spurs’ dynasty. I wanted to call their loss to the Heat in 2013 their Swan Song. When everyone came back, I thought 2014 had to be the last hurrah. This year, although I was never going to count them out to get back the Finals, I thought their end maybe have been near as the Clippers played a fantastic Game 1 featuring a virtuoso from Blake Griffin that put Aaron Baynes in some highlight reels that look more like something from WWE. They looked old. They were injured.
Then the Spurs won Game 2, thanks to an unfair display of post play from Tim Duncan and some inexplicable turnovers from Blake Griffin, making the series the only compelling one in the entire First Round. But they barely escaped being down 2-0.
But then last night happened. Back in San Antonio, the Spurs chopped the water like a karate ninja and beat the Clippers so bad you wonder if they’ll even show up for Game 4. They won by 27 points, and they could have blown that game up like the cinema in Inglorious Basterds even earlier if they had knocked down a few wide open threes in the first half.
The Clippers looked stupid on offense. They couldn’t get anything going. Chris Paul played a terrible game.
The Spurs’ offense almost made me cry it was so beautiful. Their ball movement was so fluid, so intelligent. They ran their offenses with such a confident and assured demeanor. Like Jeff VanGundy said, “I like watching their offense even when they miss shots.” It’s true. They missed wide open threes on some of the most brilliant possessions of the game.
And Kawhi Leonard is terrifying. Goodness gracious, when he starts calling for the ball every time up the court, the opponent might as well just run for cover. He’s knocking down open jumpshots, running shots, turnaround shots. I jumped out of my chair when he threw down the alley-oop from Green. I couldn’t contain that kind of basketball beauty sitting still. And that’s just his offense. He had three steals, two blocks, and helped shut down Chris Paul. My goodness.
The Golden State Warriors are good. Really good. And I think most of us thought they were going to be the last ones standing in the Western Conference, while also thinking the Spurs (after Game 1) probably weren’t going to be able to put it together this year. And then Game 3 happened. The Clippers can’t play with the Spurs. Neither can the Rockets or Grizzlies. And, if we find that they are too mighty for the Warriors as well, I’m just not going to be surprised. The are on another basketball level right now.
Last thing: this is a bad look for the Clippers, Doc, Blake, and CP3. They needed this series. I’m not saying it’s over, but…. it’s over.
Soli Deo Gloria