Spurs something something and lost to the Lakers
Gregg Popovich shuffled into the interview room in the innards of the AT&T Center, just outside of the Spurs locker room, as reporters gathered for a postgame press conference. The impending interview followed a meaningless regular season finale that ended with a 113-100 loss to the Lakers. With the Dallas Mavericks’ game against the Memphis Grizzlies still ongoing, San Antonio’s opponent in the first round of the playoffs was an unknown.
The Spurs dropped game number 82—one in which Tim Duncan and Marco Belinelli didn’t play because of rest purposes and Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Kawhi Leonard failed to appear past the third quarter—but there was far fewer drama in the game in front of us than in knowing who San Antonio’s first round opponent would be.
For what it’s worth, Leonard led the Spurs with 14 points while shooting 6-for-10 from the floor, grabbing five rebounds, handing out four assists and blocking two shots. He also received a nice little butt-chewing from Popovich during a timeout, just enough to let him and his teammates know that Pop still expected something from Wednesday evening’s regular season finale.
But the Spurs struggled to maintain offensive rhythm on the night. Parker played almost 16 minutes in the first half but didn’t appear to be going full-throttle and Popovich’s lineups weren’t the most balanced we’ve seen this season; Aron Baynes started in place of Tim Duncan and, paired with Tiago Splitter, created a big man pairing with shooting range out to something like eight feet.
Meanwhile, the Lakers shot 50 percent from the floor and hit 11-of-27 (41 percent) of their 3-pointers. Jordan Hill’s 18 points and 14 rebounds were both game highs.
In that quiet interview room after the game, Pop looked up slightly to the assembled media scrum and said, “We had a good regular season and now the postseason starts. The first game is at noon on Sunday and we will see who it is. The two teams playing right now, so I am going to go watch them. You guys take care.”
In just 14 seconds, Gregg Popovich summed up exactly how much we all cared about Wednesday’s night game against the Lakers. The Spurs postseason opens on Sunday and the path starts with the Dallas Mavericks.