The San Antonio Spurs forgot the meaning of panic a long time ago.
Not even a furious comeback by the Memphis Grizzlies—down by as many as 18 late in the third quarter—was enough to rattle the ever-calm Spurs, who prevailed 93-89 in overtime Tuesday night.
This is nothing new; we’ve grown accustomed over the years to the Gregg Popovich-led squad imposing their will in the closing minutes of games.
Still, they’ve been doing it for a really long time. We expected the wheels to fall off three years ago, let alone it continue to this day.
But they haven’t. They just continue to roll along, game-after-game, series-after-series, season-after-season.
It appears as if father time has no jurisdiction in San Antonio.
The Grizzlies came into the series as the sexy pick to move onto the NBA Finals and battle the Miami Heat for the NBA title. After their dismantling of the L.A. Clippers and Oklahoma City Thunder, it only seemed logical. Especially after the problems the Golden State Warriors presented the Spurs.
Once again, the Spurs have laughed in the face of sexy.
For too long their greatness has gone unappreciated, their brilliance on both offense and defense described as boring.
Beauty, it seems, is in the eye of the beholder.
It baffles me how one can come away from a Spurs clinic and leave anything but awestruck. It’s basketball the way it’s supposed to be played: the ball moving beautifully, players exactly where they’re supposed to be, perfect execution.
Tim Duncan proved once again why he’s the greatest power forward to ever step foot on the court, scoring six out of San Antonio's eight points in overtime.
Tony Parker, while he struggled with his shot—6-of-20 from the field for 15 points—found a different way to impose his will, dishing out 18 assists to his teammates.
This is a team that is simply designed to churn out wins, sexiness be damned.
Still though, anyone that doesn’t find the wizardry of Parker and the uniqueness of Manu Ginobili entertaining quite simply doesn’t like basketball. The plays they make and the shots they hit are bewildering at times.
Obviously this series is far from over. Despite being down 2-0, the Grizzlies are a team that commands nothing but the best.
Unfortunately for them, their best is all the San Antonio Spurs are wired to give.
Whether or not a trip to the finals is in the cards is irrelevant. The fact remains that the other four trips were not properly valued.
It’s time that the basketball community began giving the Spurs the respect they deserve. After all, father time can only be combated for so long.
The continued excellence that the Spurs have provided will be missed when they’re gone. Now, if only that excellence could be appreciated while they are still currently here.