The Writing Was On The Wall ……Somehow Some Didn’t Heed The Warning











 Last   night   the  San   Antonio  Spurs   were   unceremoniously    dumped  out  of  this   year’s   playoffs  in the   NBA.   Having  succumbed at the  hands  of  their  instate   foe  divisional   rival  the Dallas Mavericks.  It  has to   be   said  that    this   was  all   foreseen    the  very  moment   they   lost  their indomitable  super   sub   Manu   Ginobli   before  the start of  the  playoffs.   If  nothing   else   this was   as much  a   gut  wrench  to the  team  as  it  was   for   their   fans.



    Josh Howard  of  the  Mavericks  dunks the  ball while the  Spurs'  Michael  Finley   looks  on  in   game 5 of  the  playoff  series between  the two teams.
Josh Howard of the Dallas Mavericks dunks the ball while the Spurs' Michael Finley looks on. The game was played on the Spurs' homecourt of the AT&T Center in San Antonio ,Tx. The Mavericks would end up winning the game (106-93) and close out winning the series 4-1. picture appears courtesy of nbae/getty images/ D Clarke Evans ................



However  in  losing  the   series   outright  (4-1)   and   the  result of  the   game  last  night  being   so  conclusive  with  an  emphatic   106-93  win.   The  Dallas  Mavericks   move  on   with a   no  doubt   happy   owner  in Mark  Cuban   smiling  from  ear to ear. For  the  San  Antonio  Spurs  the   ride  while   it  lasted  was a  pleasant  one   for  their  fans  and   the  community  at   large.





However it  can’t  hide  the  fact  that   the   team    underperformed.  And   much of  that  responsibility   rests   squarely  on the  shoulders   of  coach  Gregg Popovich  and   that of    his  bench  players   who   failed to  show   up.  It  was  left   to the    team’s   erstwhile duo  of  All  Stars   in   Tim   Duncan   and   Tony  Parker   to  try  and  carry   the  team   on  their   shoulders.     And  as  gallantly   as  they   both   performed    the   task   was  made   all   the  more  insurmountable   by  the  ineptitude  shown   by  the   duo’s  supporting   cast.



Erick  Dampier  of the  Mavericks  and the  Spurs'  Tony  Parker  contest  a  loose  ball.
Erick Dampier of the Mavericks and the Spurs' Tony Parker contest a loose ball during the game. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Eric Gray ....................





Popovich   in  large  part   was   outcoached   by  his   counterpart  Rick Carlisle  throughout   much  of this  series.  But  then again   the  Mavericks’  players  also   stepped  up  to  the  plate  and   answered  the  call  of their   coach  to   go  out  there and   execute.  And   nowhere  was   this   more apparent   than  with  the  play   of  Josh  Howard     who   proved  to  be  the   catalyst    for  the  Mavericks    through  much  of  the  series  when  it  mattered   most.    There  were  also    valid   contributions  from  Dirk Nowitzki  and  Jason  Kidd.  For  Nowitzki  he  may  well  be   now  cast  off  that   name  tag  of   being  considered    just  a  regular  season  player,  instead of   being   a   postseason performer.






And that if  anything   has   proven  to  be  the   difference  between  the  two   teams.   When   asked  for  the  contributions  to be   made  in whatever   way   possible   it   was   the   players  of  the  Mavericks   who  stepped  and   answered the   call.   For   the    Spurs  it  was   the  complete    opposite   but   for  the  exceptions   of  Duncan and  Parker.   The  Spurs  were   languid  and   slow  to   the   touch   and   but   for   their  sole   victory  in game   2 of  the   series.    This    would   definitely   have    been a  blowout    for the  Dallas Mavericks.  The  heroics  of   Tony   Parker  in that  105-84  triumph   cannot    be   underscored.   Parker   himself   single  handedly    willed  the  team  victory  and   ended   up  scoring  38 pts  in  his   team’s  triumph.



Tony  Parker  of  the  Spurs  tries to  evade the  much  larger  presence  of  the  Mavericks'  Dirk  Nowitzki.
Tony Parker of the Spurs tries to evade the defensive presence of the Mavericks' Dirk Nowitzki during the game. picture appears courtesy of nbae/getty images/ D Clarke Evans ..................



The  thing  now   everyone may  well  be  asking    is  what  now  happens to  the  San Antonio  Spurs  ?   Having   won   four   NBA  championships    in   the  decade.   They may  well  have   been  considered   a   modern  day   dynasty.   And   if   nothing  else theirs  is  a   consistency   that’s  not   often  seen   in the  game   over  the  decade  in  question.  However  with   Duncan   now   viewed as   an  aged   veteran    no  longer  being  able  to  perform   like   the   player   he   once  was in  his  halcyon days.  It  has  to  be  said  that this   is  no  longer  the   team    that  once    performed   so  methodically and   whom   about   everything  was   admired  as  an  organization  within the  NBA.    Never    viewed  as  one   of  the   more  glamorous  franchises   within the  NBA.   That  spotlight   is  often  shone  on the  Los Angeles    Lakers , Chicago Bulls  (Jordan  era) and  Boston  Celtics   because of the  renowned   history. Though   now  there  are   fans   who  believe  that  the Cleveland  Cavaliers   ought  to be   added  to  the  mix.   I  beg  to   differ  as  having   perhaps  the  game’s  most  celebrated   player   in  LeBron  James  at  present   doesn’t  give   you   legitimacy  for staking  that particular   claim. You  have to  win something  first   be  considered  a  perennial  contender   amongst  the  game’s   elite.






In the  waning  moments of the  game  the  Mavericks'  bench  players are   jubilant .
In the waning moments of the game the Mavericks' bench players are jubilant. picure appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Eric Gray ...............



The   San Antonio  Spurs   for  all  sense  and   purpose   at  this   juncture   while   still   viewed  as  one  the  premier  franchises  within  the  NBA.  It   can  no  longer  be  considered as  being   amongst  the  elite   teams   within  the   league.   It  has  an   aging    roster   and   at  its   core    two  players   in  Duncan  and  Ginobli   can   no  longer  carry  the burden    of   being    top  notch   performers   on a  regular basis.  It’d   be   remiss to   suggest   however   that their   careers   are   over.    As  both   players   can   still  contribute  to  the  franchise.   But  the  real  issue   is  how  best can   they  each   now   serve this  franchise  as we   look  to  the  future.   If  nothing   else  this   has  to  be   something  that  the  management   and  executives   within  the  Spurs’  organization   have  to  be  considering. 



A joyful   Dirk  Nowitzki  is  congratulated  by   a  somewhat  solemn    Gregg  Popovich .
A joyful Dirk Nowitzki is congratulated by a somewhat solemn Gregg Popovich, coach of the San Antonio Spurs. picture appears courtesy of nbae/getty images/ D Clarke Evans ............




And it’ll  be   down  to   GM  R C Buford  and   Popovich’s   coaching   staff  to  make  the  prudent   decisions  that he  need  to  be   made  as  to  how  best   to  move   forward.  One  thing    for   sure   is  that   the   present  roster   of  the  Spurs   will   not  be   one   that  can bring  another  title   to  the  franchise.  It’s   far  too   reliant   on  members  who  are  aged  and   if nothing   else   aren’t  as   athletic   as  a   number   of  the  teams  around the  league  are.   The   template  that  they   may  well   choose  to   follow  is  that  of  the  Portland   Trailblazers   who’ve  a   core   of  young  players   that’ve    jelled   and   progressed together.   And   who  have   new  become  one   of  the  bright   spots  in the  league  providing    a  success  story  for  themselves  , their fans  and   the   game as a  whole.



Rick Carlisle coach of  the  Dallas Mavericks  addresses  the  press  in  his  postgame  interview.
Rick Carlisle coach of the Dallas Mavericks gives his postgame press conference after his team's euphoric victory over the San Antonio Spurs. The win ensures a berth in the Western Conference semi-finals. picture appears courtesy of nbae/getty images/ D Clarke Evans ................





It’s  hoped  that the  franchise    won’t    fall  into  the  depths   of  mediocrity   in the  ensuing  years.  But then   again  that  was  what   brought   about  their  rise  when  they  were  able  to  obtain  Tim  Duncan   from   Wake  Forest  as their    first   round   pick  in the  1997  NBA Draft.   The   rest   as  we  know   from   thereon  in    became   history.




Author: tophatal ...........

An avid sports' fans that's all !!!!!

Leave a Reply & notification by e-mail

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.