May 14, 2007

You Can't Spell San Antonio without "Choke"*

*Well, maybe YOU can.

It's 11:37 PM CST, so this will be brief. But we've just finished watching the Spurs lead Game Four of their series against Phoenix from the middle of the 2nd quarter until the last 2 minutes, and then lose. They led by 5 with under 2 and a half to play, and managed to blow it. This unlikely meltdown can be chalked up to 2 specific failings:

1. The Spurs failed to get themselves open shots in the final moments of the game, instead opting to run the shot clock all the way down and then fling up a wild turnaround jumper. By the time they decided they were actually going to try to score, the Suns were playing adrenaline-laced D and San Antonio couldn't get an open look. Just goes to show: stalling when you've far from wrapped it up will only cause failure. Kind of like the Prevent Defense in football.

2. Steve Nash is an unbelievable passer. The Spurs' D had no idea where the ball was on two crucial behind-the-back passes during the late rally, and Amare Stoudamire ended up with a couple of easy open shots that got the Suns in position to win.

Add in the fact that this game continued the trend of very violent matchups between these two squads, especially with Robert Horry's frustration-inspired linebacker shot on Nash with 20 seconds to go, and you've got yourself easily the most interesting series in these playoffs. At least so far, but we wouldn't be shocked if it was all downhill from here. For our part, we hope it goes 7.

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