Sunday, May 11, 2014

3 Games, 33 Seconds, And No Answers

The Other 8,607 Seconds, Not Good
In the title, you see the number of games that Portland has played the Spurs in their playoff series. In the latter, you see the amount of time that they've been in the lead.

Honestly, that might be the only thing that anyone needs to know about this series so far.

The thing about San Antonio is that when they get on a roll, they just look inevitable. Tony Parker was the star again tonight, and I've never seen him more prepared to look for his own shot; the man is even hitting from distance now, which makes him absolutely unfair. Tiago Splitter has had three games of making LaMarcus Aldridge look ordinary. Portland's bench, never a strength, has been so bad that coach Terry Stotts has given too many minutes to his starters, leading to dead-legged misses in late closing attempts. Kawhi Leonard, after a season of frustration for everyone who thought that he was going to make a next step based on last year's playoff dominance but spun his wheels, is right back where he was a year ago, looking like the logical next era of Spurs dominance. Manu Ginobili, who is in the old enough that every poor stretch looks like the end phase of his career, has looked flat out great through most of these games. And if things continue like the current pattern, they are about to get up to a week of rest before facing a Conference Finals opponent that will have been through one to three extra games.

And all of this after a 3-3 stretch against an #8 seed. But this is what the Spurs have been like for much of the last few playoff runs; either rolling through like a tank, or at death's door, with everyone clamoring that the window of opportunity is shut. When, of course, they were a miracle Ray Allen three from being the defending champs.

It's one hell of a team when it's right. And Portland has no answers.

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