Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Off to the Western Conference Semis

The Spurs have won because Tony Parker is fast, and because Manu Ginobili is a magician, and because Tim Duncan is the greatest power forward in the history of the NBA. --Mike Finger of the San Antonio Express-News

The San Antonio Spurs has always been focused on defense. Thanks to the genius named Gregg Popovich. Few teams in the NBA followed the defensive principles of Pop to the Spurs. I am not a basketball guru but I can name a few of them, like the Detroit Pistons. Coming back to the topic. During a Spurs game, you will seldom experience flashy dunks and other flashy type of performance that will surely make it to the Top Play of the Week. Yeah, Spurs aren't flashy because their style of play is different from that of the Suns.

The Suns during the previous seasons are less focused on defense and are focused on playing better on the offensive end. But Steve Kerr, the Suns president and a former Spur, knew for certain that being good offensively can't carry a team to a championship. And so, the Suns gave up Shawn Marion and acquired Shaquille O'neal from the Miami Heat. Because of O'neal's bulky size, Kerr thought he would help heighten the presence of the Suns from the inside. However, the midseason acquisition backfired and resulted to the Suns' fourth elimination from the playoffs. And the culprit? Yes, the Spurs. "Every time we needed to close something out — a half or a game — they got the best of us," said Mike D'Antoni.

The Suns-Spurs series has been one of the most anticipated matchups this playoffs. One of the reasons is that both teams happened to have faced each other during last season's Western Conference semis. There were suspensions and calling of nonsensical names to other players that were done. And the Suns haven't forgotten any of those, which were [i think] made as excuses. But now, what excuse would the Suns make after the Spurs gave them their early vacation? Turnovers? Flopping? Well, whatever it is that made the Suns lose Game 5 to the Spurs, they're still one of the best NBA teams today and Steve Nash is one of the best point guards ever to play basketball. In the the series, the Spurs were simply better, maybe not in numbers but in staying calm in the face of adversity and on the intangible aspects of basketball.

After the Suns, the Spurs will head out Saturday in New Orleans and face Chris Paul & Co. The Hornets are younger than Suns, meaning more trouble for the Spurs. The big difference of the Hornets to the Suns is defense that is why they pose a bigger threat to the Spurs. Plus, they've got homecourt advantage and my goodness New Orleans is a lot louder than the Suns. More shouting, more boos... But despite all these, the Spurs will survive. =)


Melvin said...

I would really love to see the series.. Spurs obviously will win that but its exciting to see how the Hornets momentum will carry them

Time Intact said...

I really don't think the Spurs are as 'boring' to watch as people to say. True, they don't have a lot of flashy dunks, but to me they're awesome to watch because it's execution at it's best. And Manu Ginobili is the exact opposite of boring.

Ragnar said...

I'm not a fan of the Spurs, heck I'm not even a fan of basketball! But then, when playoffs starts I usually tune in since a number of great games do happen. I watched some portions of the games between Phx and Spurs, and I must say that, yeah the Spurs are okay. But my money isn't on Spurs. It's on Lakers.

Gastón said...

Manu Ginobili is the best basketball player we had! I wish that San Antonio wins the final! Sorry for my poor english! jaja!