Miami Heat 95, San Antonio Spurs 88: The title that got away and will never be forgotten


MIAMI — I’m not sure exactly what to write about.

What a postseason. What an NBA Finals. What a Game 7.

But if you’re a Spurs fan, you’ll never forget this series for all the absolute worst reasons. San Antonio had every chance to finish this thing in Miami and it couldn’t. Heartbreakingly, painfully, horribly, it couldn’t. The Heat left the floor with a 95-88 win and their second title in as many years.

In a fashion apropos to the prior events of this series, the last opportunity the Spurs had to stay in the game was lost in the form of a Manu Ginobili turnover. It was his fourth giveaway of the night, all of which came in the final frame. It’s been as difficult a stretch as this Spurs great has ever seen, and after Game 7 he admitted he never got rid of Tuesday’s sting.

“I still have Game 6 in my head,” Manu said. “Today we played an OK game, they just made more shots than us. LeBron got hot. Shane (Battier), too. Those things can happen.”

But then he continued.

“Being so close and feeling that you are about to grab that trophy and then seeing it vanish is very hard. I think that if we would have lost both games like this I would have been a little more up. But it’s a tough feeling.”

Ginobili had 18 points, 5 assists and 3 rebounds in a 6-for-12 shooting performance, but Game 6 and the turnovers are what will last longest in the memory bank. Especially with the uncertainty of his immediate future. In the midst of bitter disappointment, the 35-year-old Manu was asked about one of the biggest upcoming decisions of his life. With all the swirling emotions, could he give a definitive answer about his plans?

“No, it’s not the moment,” he said with tired eyes. “I’m very disappointed, very upset. I really can’t say anything.”

But sometimes it’s not about the mistakes you make. Sometimes it’s about acknowledging what the other team did. The Spurs dared James to shoot jumpers all series long, and for the most part it had been effective. But tonight, James was the best player on the planet again, and there was nothing San Antonio could do about it.

LeBron went for 37 points, including five 3-pointers and a perfect 8-for-8 from the line. And what’s more, he had nine baskets outside the paint. On the biggest stage, under the most intense criticism, he buried jumper after jumper on his way to a second title. If James is hitting shots from the perimeter, even the perfect defense might not be enough.

Still, the Spurs had a chance. Despite all of it, they had a chance. And if we’re drawing attention to Ginobili’s turnovers, it’s only fair to bring up another topic: Tony Parker essentially disappeared from the Finals over the last two games. Whether it was his hamstring, exhaustion or just a Heat defense that was at a different level, the Spurs’ MVP didn’t have anything left in the tank.

He was 3-for-12 from the floor with 10 points and four assists in the season’s finale as his team fell.

“I have no excuse. I’m not going to put it on my hammy and stuff like that,” he said. “I just didn’t play well. My shot was not falling. Couldn’t get in a rhythm tonight.

“It’s tough to come so close. Those last two games are tough.”

The level of disappointment is physically nauseating. The end was there, the ropes were being stretched out and the trophy was being rolled onto the floor. And that was on Tuesday, before it was rolled back into the bowels of American Airlines Arena. But tonight, it stayed on the floor, and James and Co. were there holding it.

I’ve never been big on consolation prizes or moral victories, and the same can certainly be said of this Spurs team. But this season was special. Duncan’s fifth NBA Finals appearance, 14 years after his first. The continued brilliance of Tony Parker, who had the best season of his now 12-year career. The never-ending hard work and grit of Manu Ginobili. The result we all wanted didn’t come, but the process itself was beautiful to watch.

And isn’t that perfect, after all? Gregg Popovich always talks about the process, not the result. He and his players obviously left their hearts and souls on the court, and the pain of walking off after the last game of the NBA season a loser must be immense. But there was no disingenuousness in his words at the podium as the championship music blared in the background.

“I couldn’t love our guys more. What they accomplished this year is something nobody would have ever expected,” Pop said. “And they showed a lot of good play to get where they got. And I couldn’t be more proud of them.

“It was a great series, and we felt that. I don’t know if ‘enjoy’ is the right word, but in all honesty, even in defeat, I’m starting to enjoy what our group accomplished already, when you look back,” he continued. “And you need to do that, to put it in perspective.”

Basketball isn’t a game of perfection, even in its biggest moments. There will always be botched plays, missed shots and untimely turnovers, but it’s all about how you manage the ensuing situations. Danny Green’s 1-for-12 performance will hurt, especially after he scorched the earth through the first five games of the series. Parker’s disappearance was tough to swallow, especially after an MVP-caliber season. Manu’s turnovers and crumbling level of play were awful to witness, especially with memories of Finals past so fresh in mind.

But what makes this a little easier to handle is the fact that we’ve been able to experience all of this brilliance, all of this jubilation. And maybe that’s why this hurts so much. We’ve seen this celebration before, we know what it feels like to watch our favorite team hold up the Larry O’Brien trophy. To be so close to that point again and watch it slip away is almost unbearable, because we don’t know when we’ll ever get another chance to see it. Hell, we don’t know IF we’ll get another chance to see it.

Still, I’ll keep coming back to the point that we’ve already seen it, and we’ve already felt more joy from this team over the last decade and a half than most teams have had through their entire existence. The Spurs aren’t going anywhere, at least not for now. And it all starts with Tim Duncan, who was asked if he’ll be back.

“Back for what?” he retorted, before the reporter clarified the intention of his question.

“I have a contract that says I am (back next season),” Duncan said.

These questions will undoubtedly keep coming more and more in the near future, though it’s not like they haven’t been floating around for the last several years. Before Parker slid off the stage, he answered his final question of the night with some obvious anger. Anger stemming from the repetition of a line he’s heard a million times already.

Do you have any thoughts that this might be the last time this group plays together?

“Can’t believe you’re asking that question,” Parker said. “It’s been five, six years you’re saying we’re too old. I’m not going to answer that.”

And as he left the podium, he walked into the offseason after missing out on a fourth ring by a single rebound. All the work this season culminated in this, but it’s only one season. This team doesn’t stop pounding the rock with one result, win or lose. This is all a process that’s been larger than any single season, and the end of the line isn’t yet in sight.

Where the stonecutters that have gotten this team to where it is today are growing longer in the tooth, they’re being helped by a new group of younger hands. And, boy, are they capable ones. As Duncan and Manu near the end, and as we wait and see where Parker’s career will eventually take him, we can sit back in awe of what we’ve seen from Green during this series, and even more impressively, what we saw from the Spurs’ incredible 21-year-old small forward.

Kawhi Leonard’s 19 points and 16 rebounds were almost enough to carry his teammates, the stars who’ve lifted the load since his formative years. And he’ll learn from tonight. He learns from every game. His mind is a sponge, and much like his current mentors, all he cares about is basketball. He quietly goes about his hard work, and we’re already seeing the fruits of a young man’s labor.

“I just talked to Kawhi and told him he was absolutely amazing. Nobody expected him at this young age to play the way he has through the whole playoffs,” Pop said. “He really is a star in the making. He’s just beginning to feel what he has. He’s like a little baby learning how to walk, as far as NBA basketball is concerned.”

And if that’s true, it will be fascinating to watch him grow from infancy. The shift in regime is happening, and it’s coming sooner than expected, all because of a trade involving George Hill and a 15th overall pick in the 2011 NBA draft. The Spurs will need more than just Leonard as the future approaches, but it’s difficult to get a better running start than this with San Antonio’s franchise cornerstones still in tow.

It’s going to be difficult to sleep in San Antonio, tonight and for some nights to come. But as Pop said, it’s necessary to maintain perspective. What we just saw from a Big 3 that’s stayed together for more than a decade now as similar formations around the league’s landscape have crumbled was nothing short of amazing. But as it was once Duncan’s league, it’s now LeBron’s, and sometimes that must be conceded.

The Spurs will still be around. They might look and feel different, but they’ll still be there. The concepts, the principles, the practices, they won’t change drastically along with personnel evolution. Parker will be back and Timmy says he’ll be there with him. At this point, who knows what will happen in Ginobili’s world, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him back at a discounted rate.

They’ll all be older, and each 48 minutes will become more and more difficult. But as the role players evolve and become more than that, they’ll have help. Help that will be even better next year. As Game 7 showed us, superstars win titles in this league. The Spurs’ stars are fading while many others around the NBA are burning the brightest.

But, if you take Popovich at his word, the Spurs have another in the making. And Leonard’s star is just beginning to shine.

  • Pai

    Thanks for putting this out (Was still having trouble getting Game 6 out of my mind!). Hadn’t felt this down in all my years of following Spurs. Helps with perspective on the series and where we are headed to.

  • LeBrocholli

    With all the sadness of losing, I can’t help but be optimistic about Kawhi. Pop, one of the greatest coaches ever, thinks Kawhi is a star in the making, and he’s made huge bounds not only this playoffs; but this season overall. Hopefully Kawhi continues to develop and retires a spur for life.

  • Old but gold is still old

    Hold your horses on this kawi Leonin thing, but Oklahoma still has Durant and Westbrook. Call it for what it is: this team only goes as far as the big fundamental. Respect and all that and for what it’s worth, it was an entertaining series

  • Averyelliot

    Not to mention your bearded bogeyman harden. He getting Dwight right? The championship was theirs LITERALLY, and they figuratively screwed the pooch. Let the significance of that game six debacle weigh in a bit versus your process-result thing. In fact this is going to hang on the rest of San Antonio’s history, as early as next season when okc tears you up. Well, what don’t kill you makes you stronger cliches aside, you blew it, and no one is going to criticize the spurs for it. Free passes never tated so bitter. How’s that for a coach pop approach?

  • Paololakers

    The only spurs that ever mattered are Duncan, davidmrobinson, and rodman hair. Tony Parker, Manu, Sean Elliot, little Avery qualify, but its so boring typing these names even though I so totally did

  • Classylassy

    Try oberto and the guy juwan Howard clocked when he played for Dallas. Help me out here guys, whathisname Anderson

  • Paoloespinosa

    Robert Harry body check on and. Bruce Bowen dirty tactics, basketball gods are just!

  • Melbourne Spur

    As disappointing as this result and game 6 are, I can’t help but still appreciate what the Spurs have given me this season, and every season since I have followed them after they drafted Robinson. The continued success, class and competitiveness they have displayed is a joy to feel a part of.
    No question game 6 will haunt me, and I will clock any of my friends who bring it up in jest the rest of my life, but looking back it was a phenomenal season.
    Based on game 7, I also don’t think the championship window will be closed for decades either. Kawhi is legit, and only 21. He will be enough for the front office to find pieces to work with. He will need another star and some continued role players, but I don’t put it past the Spurs – I’ve come to learn that.
    My one rage action to make me feel better about the loss will be to take a lighter to my White Stripes CD. Never want to hear that shit again.
    Thanks to you guys for running a Spurs blog where I can chat will other knowledgeable Spur and basketball fans. Really enjoy, and I’ll check in again next year, when who knows what may happen……

  • Melbourne Spur

    Oh and one other thing – if Manu retires, I’ll be both sad and glad to see him go, if that makes sense.

  • Spurs fan in Australia

    The worst part about all of this is I keep coming back to thinking if we had of got one defensive rebound in game 6 we would probably be champions right now.

    But, having said that, at the start of last season (when we lost to OKC in the conference finals) I told my wife that I thought we would miss the playoffs that year. If someone had said to me Spurs will take Heat to 7 games in the Finals in 2 seasons I would have taken it and been ecstatic with it.

    Great season and great team and no matter the out come, still love the Spurs. Just hurts being so damn close.


    No such thing as De5tiny this year. The Heat are damn good when it’s all on the line. How many more great seasons do the Spurs have left with who they have? Don’t think they can pull another season like this off with who they have now. Personnel changes will need to be made. Tiago, Ginobili, Neal all come to mind.

    And game 6 will linger until if and when they have another shot.

  • Spurs fan in Australia

    Game 6 is gonna hurt for a long time. Just needed one damn rebound.

    I think Spurs keep Tiago, unfortunately when Heat went small this just wasn’t the series for him. Id like to see him develop more of a post game so that way when playing against smaller defenders can punish them more. Neal also can be kept depending on price.
    Ginobili is the big question. I love Duncan and Parker and love watching them play, but Ginibili can do stuff that makes me jump off the couch in excitement……or scream incoherantly at the TV. I think Spurs will keep him if he wants to return just due to what he has done for the Spurs but will depend on cost.
    I hope Spurs can develop De Colo more as the backup PG as Parker was worn out by the end of the series and maybe pick someone up that can create off the dribble so not so much reliance on Parker and Ginobili in that respect.

  • LePass

    You know what happened to the Kings when they lost in the same fashion to the lakers? franchises never recover from such disaster.

  • David G

    Tough loss to the team with the best player ever. What a great season though! One of my favorite seasons ever.

  • kalone

    Robert Horry helped us win a title that year.

  • TheFG21

    I agree completely. Game 6 will sting until we win another Championship. At least the bad and sour feeling of it.

  • Jim Jones

    Good post, thanks for all you guys do with this blog. Looking forward to next season, the Spurs have to get Parker some help. He is forced to to be the constant engine of the offense, even when he is playing on one leg. He looked wiped out the last two games with absolutely no spring, and I’m sure the hamstring was a major factor. I know Wade was hobbled to, but the Spurs need Parker more than the Heat need Wade.

  • Graham

    We lost to a damn good team, and an incredible player in LeBron. We played our hearts out and left everything on the court. This will hurt for a long time, but I have no complaints. The Heat managed to make the deciding plays when we couldn’t. Hats off to them, and time to start getting ready for next year.

  • Titletown99030507d

    You can’t compare the Kings organization to the Spurs. By the looks of you posting on this blog just recently in the finals because I sure haven’t seen you around, seems like you haven’t been up on the this organization either. Stick around you’ll be amazed what this organization can do.

  • Titletown99030507d

    I keep reading about that 1 rebound and we are champions. They questioned why Timmy wasn’t in there. In my opinion I would have had Timmy and Splitter or Bonner in there to get that rebound. Yes I know what 2 bigs like that would have brought at worst 2 points. Anyway I still love my Spurs and the core 3. Like I said I’ll be the first in line to buy the tribute DVD when it’s all over. 4 Championships is better than none. GINOBILI!

  • d. iyer

    I am still devastated with this loss. Boy is it going to be a long four months before the next season. I think we can come back just as strong next year if we add another all-star caliber player like Milsap from Utah. With Manu’s contract coming off the books, we can make a strong push to sign a player who can take us over the top. No longer do we have the time to just develop players if the goal is another championship before Timmy retires. I just can’t imagine him retiring after losing like this or this being the last playoff memory of TD. We have a once in a lifetime player that clearly needs help to win one more. If we can get an impact player, we can go back to the finals. And I want Miami again for revenge!

  • TheFG21

    I want to say… Thank you Spurs! For that magnificent season! Im very proud of my Team! And what they accomplished!

    Game 6 will be still hurting for a while and will be present in our minds for a bit longer. Last night loss for me wasnt as harsh because I was already down and devastated by Game 6. There was a moment when I felt pain and it was after Timmy failed to score vs Battier and saw his frustration and he was crying inside. That moment broke my heart. Seeing TD like that.

    Overall I feel relaxed, a little bit disappointed (like if I played, right?), but relaxed after all. The worst thing that I could have felt had passed after Tuesday night, so, yesterday was a continuation of that in a lesser scale.

    It was awesome finding this Blog! Im from Puerto Rico, but I have family in San Antonio and thats the main reason I’m a Spurs fan and thank God for that. I remember when I went to visit them in the 1990-91 Xmas (I was 7 y/o by then) and we went to a Spurs game. IRONICALLY vs the Miami Heat. But we won and I remember it wasn’t close. After the game we went to the Tower of the Americas to celebrate and it was an amazing experience. Since that day I loved San Antonio (the City), its people and of course the Spurs.They just added another Fan, since that day they’re part of my Life.

    So it has been a fantastic and unforgettable ride. Lets keep up, rest and wait for next Tip-Off!

    Go! Spurs! Go!

  • heyyu

    Thanks Matthew, and the entire 48minutesofhell crew for all the great analysis, recaps and commentary this year. So proud of our team and our fans. Keep it up guys.

  • Christian Walden White

    Honestly, even after all of this.. I’m happy, proud to see my guys, to go out the way they did. Sure we let game 6 slip through our fingers but that’s life. It’s best to treat it as it is and enjoy it. It was good to see Timmy get back to the finals at least one more time, he deserves it. Great season from them, couldn’t ask for anything more. Looking forward to next year for sure!

  • LePass

    Ginobili just cost the spurs 2 direct championships…not to mention all the years he was injured.

  • The Kawhiet Storm

    Well, an incredibly painful loss and a lesson learned. If this proves anything it’s the old cliche that every single play matters, every possession, every rebound, every free throw. One thing goes differently and we’re hoisting number 5, and that is the great and terrible thing about sports. They have the potential both to reaffirm and shake faith, to make us believers or cynics, to distill life into pure physics, action/reaction. Hell of a run and it sure as shit was not dull.

    I think about my first Spurs game back at the Hemisfair as a kid, then the days of the ‘Dome, getting worked by the Suns, and Rockets, Jazz and Sonics. If you would have told me back then that in the not too distant future we would be playing a 7th game for our 5th ring Im not sure I would have believed it. So many ups and downs with this team, and I think the fact that both affect us so deeply is a testament to this organization and the culture and relationship they have built with this fan base and the city of San Antonio.

    So, for now we hurt, we think and obsess, we second guess and reminisce and come October we will be there, in the stands screaming like escaped maniacs, we will be in front of our tv’s clutching lucky charms, fist pumping and disturbing the neighbors, and we will be here, on this site talking about it all. This is what we do, we are Spurs fans.

  • al_frick

    What sucks is that the Heat will never feel this type of loss. Sure, they’ll get beat in the playoffs. But never in a Game 7. And never having been 5 seconds away from victory. This was the worst possible way to lose a title. Being 5 seconds away from sealing the deal and not doing it.

  • al_frick

    Really mad at TP. He better have been hobbled or something because last night was a disaster. He took 1 jump shot. Not mad that he was 3 for 12. I’m mad that he wasn’t 3 for 24.

  • EP_Spurs

    We were so close, man, it is gonna hurt for a while but should give us fuel that we still got it, gotta love Leonard driving that ball the future is looking bright. Idk to me he has that same demeanor as Timmy had coming in. In the aspect of quiet confidence, cool under pressure.

  • al_frick

    This is sour grapes but has any team gotten as many breaks as the Heat? It’s like they were destined to win the championship. A half court heave by Chalmers. A point blank miss by Duncan. A rebound that dribbles off Leonard’s finger to Miller to James. A ball that caroms directly to Bosh for the rebound. Any one of those things not happen and we’re talking 5 rings. Sure TP also hit that Game 1 winner, but it seems like this Heat team had a ton of luck.

  • TheRealDirtyP1

    Well that and the game being rigged. Have you read any of Donaghy’s book? The Lakers had A LOT of help.

  • senorglory

    We are being trolled today… by a Lakers fans! LOL!

  • TheRealDirtyP1

    You sound a lot like me. I remember when my friend’s dad got 3 lower level tickets and me and my two friends went, we’re talking about 24 years ago against the Suns(KJ, Chambers, Hornacek, Majerle) against Alvin Robertson, Johnny Dawkins, Cadillac Anderson, and one of my favorite Spurs when I was a kid, Willie Anderson. Alvin put up 34 points that night! The Spurs attempted 2 three pointers…funny how time changes. Spurs fan until I die. Back then I never would have thought we’d get one ring much less 4, it’s all been icing on the cake and a hell of a ride.

  • TheRealDirtyP1

    Thanks to the 48 MoH staff. You guys put out a great blog and I know as bad as we all feel, you feel the same or worse. Stay the course and keep up the good work.

    I debated on whether to watch the game last night after game 6. I know that sounds weird, but I was crushed after that game, crushed. I was ready to wake my boys up so they could watch the Spurs hoist the trophy when we were up by 5 with 28 seconds left. Luckily I didn’t jump the gun and get them up, they would have seen their dad devastated and mute with disbelief.

    So I did decide to watch last night, and my boys watched the game with me, cheering every Spurs big play. I should have prefaced my boys watching the game by saying they hadn’t watched a game with me all season(they’re 7 & 8 and to them a regular season game isn’t all that exciting) but this was different. The championship, one last game. The game was close all the way through and I never felt like it was going to go our way; TP struggling, Manu not being Manu, Danny getting nearly shut out, no bench help, and finally Tim missing point blank. His reaction to missing that shot summarized my feeling and probably every Spurs fan. Tim makes that shot 99 out of 100 times, and if he misses he gets the follow up, it’s not supposed to end like this.

    Losing that game sucked, I was ready to share the joy I’d felt four other times with my kids that are finally getting sports conscious. How did they react? They were shocked and when I left for work this morning, the first thing my 8 year old said? Dad, I can’t believe the Spurs lost last night, I’m still so sad about that.

    The Spurs, not “We” as we all seem to say when we reference our team, let game 6 get away and ultimately had nothing left at the end of game 7. Regardless of where these players end up next year, 5 years, etc., “We” will be fans and will remember the joy of victory we share with each other as well as the agony of defeat. We will support whoever wears the Silver and Black, and we’ll remember the Legends that came before them.

    Was this our last chance? More than likely yes. The Spurs ran into the best team in the league, take out your hatred for the Heat or dislike of Wade and James. The Jordan Bulls beat very good teams, and now the LeBron Heat are on a run with two in a row down now. I’ll marvel at how good LeBron is but I will cheer the underdog against them, even if they’re a rival. Because one thing is clear about the Spurs and don’t forget this. Their titles were not bought, the teams were built with a core and then pieces were added. There were no “Decisions” broadcast on ESPN about their players. We’ve watched one of the ten best players EVER, EVER, take us to the promised land and do it without any controversy. The selfish part of me wants these guys to play until they’re 40, but they’ve given us so much for so long that if they retired tomorrow or in 5 years, nothing will tarnish their legacy in my eyes(and this goes for Manu as well.)

    Man that was a fun ride.

  • Haq

    Or like Coach Pop said, the Heat were just the better team.

  • td4life

    I will always root for small markets. Miami had three All-Stars in their prime, and is littered with key free agents from LBJ and Bosh to Miller, Battier and Allen. Those guys have all been US National team players, with Miller also being a former ROY and 6th man of the year. These Spurs had ONE lottery pick, the 37 year old NBA first-team Tim
    Duncan, and the only legit free agent signing on this squad was Diaw who
    refuses to shoot and was waived by the worst team in the league, the
    7-59 Bobcats.
    Obviously Miami is the better team, but when will you ever see a group do as much as this group composed almost entirely of career Spurs. I’ll always love and respect these guys. I can never really respect these glamor franchises who stack the deck and pretend it’s an even playing field.

  • TheFG21

    In the press conference after Game 6, Ray Allen said that for winning games like that, more than making plays at the right time, you got to have Luck. And in those finals seconds they got it.

  • Tim in Surrey

    Not until we RE-SIGN Manu. Until then, his cap hold is massive (ca. $19 million) and all we can offer is a mid-level exception.

  • TheRealDirtyP1

    I’d like to see a blog entry dedicated to what the Heat did in terms of getting max out players to not sign for max money. It would seem that the players union would block this, I mean, they’re hurting the chances for other players to sign for more money. Max out player is such a weird characterization, I mean Carmelo, Amare, Dwight, Pau, Chis Paul, and Joe Johnson all make more than these guys.

    But I’ll tell you one thing, if you asked the Heat if they’d trade Bosh for Duncan, they’d do it in a heartbeat. That’s the Spurs front office making things work. I’m against making super teams when salary cap penalties can only be absorbed by large market teams and it makes it harder for other teams to compete.

  • Andrew A. McNeill

    Those three signed for less money to stay under the cap. The Spurs have been doing that for years. Tony Parker is “only” making $12 million a year and he’s a top-5 player in the league. Nothing in the CBA against a guy taking less money.

  • TheRealDirtyP1

    I’m not saying CBA, that is for both parties. I’m saying it should be frowned upon more by the union. I might be looking at this just because the Spurs are small market and our chances of getting a top tier free agent will always be slim to none. Parker wasn’t considered Top 5 when he signed that contract, Andrew. The Heat would love to get rid of Bosh for what they’re paying him.

    I’m looking forward to the post-mortem and what happens next year with Manu’s 14 mil coming off of the books. Feels like the Spurs paid him for the next season at least. I’d like to see him come back for Diaw money (4-5mil). The Spurs have $28 mil coming off the books and possibly a little more if Neal leaves…but I haven’t heard the Spurs being a player in free agency. Will we see something soon?

  • Andrew A. McNeill

    No, Parker wasn’t top 5 when he signed the contract, but it was still well below market value. Same thing when Duncan left money on the table back in 2006 or 2007 when he re-signed. And what makes you say the Heat would love to get rid of Bosh for what they’re paying him? He doesn’t always score a lot of points, but does many other things for them that enables them to play the way they do. And they’ve won two straight titles with him in the lineup, so he’s not exactly hurting them.

  • AHeights

    Positives: Swept the Lakers. Overcame Stephen Curry. Destroyed the Grizzlies, who had supposedly “owned” the Spurs since they beat us in 2011.

    Negatives: Danny Green has a little Matt Bonner in him: He gets chased off the 3 point line, he becomes kind of useless. Here’s hoping Green spends the entire summer practicing his dribble drive to pull-up for a mid-range jumper. Or, hear me out, this might sound crazy . . . but now that Green’s stock is high (despite Games 6 and 7), should we trade him? For an athletic slasher who can defend, like Trevor Ariza.

    Manu is good in small doses. Hope Pop keeps his minutes way down next year.

    Parker got worn out. Wouldn’t have hurt as much if Pop had a backup point he trusted (like back in the day when Steve Kerr or Speedy Claxton could step in to bail him out). Gary Neal is NOT a backup point. And Pop obviously doesn’t think Corey Joseph or De Colo are ready for crunch time minutes yet, or that Patty Mills will ever be ready. This is the biggest need I want to see addressed. Can we trade Neal and Mills for a solid bench point, like Aaron Brooks, Jose Barea, or Steve Blake? Devin Harris is a free agent and the Hawks don’t really want him back.

    After three years to adjust to the NBA, Tiago has shown he’s just not that good. Tired of seeing him get stuffed by smaller players. I felt more confident back when we had scrub-level centers Oberto, Mohammed, and Nesterovic in there. I really liked the bits of time we saw Baynes on the court. He appears to have a jumper and he likes to bang (opposite of Tiago in those respects).

  • TheRealDirtyP1

    When you say below market value, what are you saying another team would have signed him for? Westbrook makes about a mil/year more and that contract will accelerate by +1mil until 2016-2017 and he’s younger and arguably better. Let’s not look at things in our Spurs colored glasses. I love TP but when we’re saying top 5 pg’s looking forward the next 3 years, where do you rank him? I’m going Paul, Rose, Williams, Westbrook, then Rondo/Parker and they’re at about the same salary. I’m sure someone else will pop up during that time and TP is 31, he’s maxed out on his potential IMO simply because he’s got more wear and tear on him than a typical NBA 31yo pg(just like LeBron being 28 biologically–he has more NBA experience than MJ did at 28 but with no injuries.)

    As far as Bosh goes, you watched the same series I did, he was abused in the post. He did have timely blocks, I’ll give him that and he earned his salary there, but on offense I think he’s ill fitting. If Bosh was a FA next year, would you sign him for $17mil? How many teams would?

    Maybe it’s too soon to talk about roster moves for a few days. I’m trying to keep my mind off the loss.

  • d. iyer

    Who knows if he is even coming back? I have a feeling he’ll retire cause he sounded mentally and physically spent. Even if he does resign, the question is will he be ok with a limited role and less minutes off the bench?

  • d. iyer

    Your last comment is what worries me about the front office not being a player in the free agency market. Til now it worked cause of the core 3, but that is clearly down to 2. Leonard is good but can he be the third guy to win now? Probably not. At some point the team will need to get a free agent. What better time than now to get a player like Al Jefferson who can be further groomed by TD and give us a solid front court to counter teams next year. Make one last push for a title before Duncan retires. When he does, we’ll still have a solid team.

  • TheRealDirtyP1

    Are they still too burned from Rasho & RJ to pull the trigger? I know we like to think of the Spurs front office as so far ahead of the curve than everyone else, but they swung and missed on those players. I’m with you, there’s no time to wait for someone else to develop, but Kawhi’s stock has gone way up. Kawhi seems more of a complimentary player, as in, I’ll play defense on their best player, and on offense I’ll just take whatever’s available. I’d like to see him become a bigger part of the half court offense, maybe we’ll see it in the summer leagues more.

  • merkin

    I think Green just dribble-drived and turned it over again . . . kidding, but seriously, I agree with Manu had the Spurs lost the last two in a “normal” fashion I would be ok with that. I cannot find any solace in the process. Had Miami clearly showed they were the better team, I’d be ok, but they weren’t–they were the team that just made fewer mistakes.

  • Graham

    Ariza would be a downgrade from Green, no thanks. Our future backup PG is clearly Joseph, can’t blame the kid for shying from the finals spotlight. Not everyone is a Kawhi with nerves of titanium.

    Only real thing we need is someone who can attack off the dribble and create, sort of a replacement manu. Nano needs a couple more seasons to pan out, but if we could get a 2 who can create, that’s the kind of guy missing.

  • TD BestEVER

    I think they keep Neal but We need another BIG that is ACTUALLY TOO GOOD TO BE BENCHED…… Paul Milsap or somebody of that caliber……We need a big that can Produce without being set up because Manu can’t set up players anymore and Parker is over 30 and gets hurt every season now…….We may have one more run in us but we need another scorer and Stephen Jackson would have helped i this series big time…….