Game 5: Does anyone know what to expect?

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This series was supposed to be over by now. All three 48 Minutes of Hell writers thought so and almost every ESPN writer figured the same. Instead, it’s a borderline must-win.

Had the Spurs blown that huge Game 4 lead, a lot of Spurs fans would be waving the white flag already. Instead, the series is tied and the Spurs hold home court advantage from here on out. In theory, they’ve got this.

Of course, we thought that the last time the Spurs had a home game that, ideally, they were supposed to win. Instead, they got sloppy and confused by what Dallas did on defense. But as a series goes on, it becomes harder and harder for teams to trick each other. In Games 3 and 4, the Spurs looked at times like they figured out what the Mavericks were doing on defense. It helped that Patty Mills started making shots and Boris Diaw went Catch-and-Shoot Bobo on us.

Having said that, I have no idea what’s going to happen tonight. The Spurs seemed to feel really good about surviving Game 4 with a win. Coach Pop praised the Spurs defense, Tim Duncan did the same. We touched on the bench’s improved play, but there’s still plenty of other guys who need to step up. Tony Parker didn’t show us very much that was positive on Monday night, but the 17-footer he hit with 1:37 left proved he hasn’t abandoned his jump shot, even if it appeared that way for the better part of the game. Some home cooking may help Parker get his groove back, but again, we won’t know for sure.

Shooting guards not named Manu Ginobili need to be much better. Danny Green and Marco Belinelli are so bad right now they can’t stay on the court. The home crowd might get them going, but we haven’t seen that so far. If one of them is good, the Spurs should be fine, but we really don’t know if either will be good.

I know tip-off tonight is just after 6 pm central time and can be seen on Fox Sports Southwest or TNT. Past that I have no clue what to expect tonight. For Spurs fans looking for tickets to tonight’s Game 5, visit our friends at TiqIQ.

  • One Wing

    Tony isn’t 100%. Marion is doing a good job of preventing him from being himself. They are able to hide Calderon on Green, allowing Calderon to be running downhill on offense every possession. Manu has been the offensive creator. Having Green defend Marion is silly at this point in his career.

    Start Manu and Patty and bring Tony off the bench. Patty forces Calderon to work harder on both ends of the floor. Manu and Splitter can get the PnR game going early and often. Dalembert’s effectiveness goes down in this situation as the offense can pick it’s spots with Duncan. Tony can come in more with Marion on the bench, allowing him to get back in rhythm and play fewer minutes overall.

    Pop’s the best coach in the league for a reason. I just wonder if this thought has crossed his mind, or anyone else’s?

  • jgonzaba

    I love the brutal honesty in the blog.

    “Hell if I know”

    Lmao

  • Caui sounds better than kawhi

    I thought the same thing (it happened already a couple of years ago against Dallas, albeit being in different circumstances), but i’m guessing it would only happen if tony admits to being really hurt. Games have been too close for changing, and Pop usually prefers stability(and he’s probably right, Larry Bird can tell you).

    I think that Spurs D is the key. If the team plays defense like its capable, i think we win the series. I mean, it’s the playoffs!!. First games people mainly talked about offense, it reminded me of the “paper tiger” team that lost to the Grizz in ’11. But if the defense is steady, offense will come!
    Or at least i hope it will!
    All the best, Go Spurs!

  • Ra

    Anyone know if Parker is playing tonight?