As a huge Spurs fan, I'm obviously disappointed with the result of tonight's contest. However, even after watching them play a terrible offensive game, I still have hope for these resilient Spurs.
One big problem with tonight was clearly the last play. I hold coach Gregg Popovich in the highest regard, but even though sharpshooter Brent Barry had an amazing night, you must put the ball in your best playmaker's hands. Manu Ginobili was nowhere to be found in the last two seconds of the ball game.
More importantly, you see the play all the time in the NBA, when a player goes up into the defender and creates contact. None of that previous sentence applies to what Barry did in the last two seconds. It would have been simple: go up into Derek Fisher, get three free throws, and give your team a chance to win the game.
But no. Now the Spurs are staring at a 3-1 deficit, heading back on the road to Los Angeles. The Spurs have not played well on the road either, compiling a 2-6 record in the 2008 playoffs. They better hope they make some changes in a hurry, because the defending champs will be ousted with one more poor performance.
You can't fault the Spurs' effort tonight. They came back from multiple deficits, including one of 14 points in the first quarter. The Spurs staved off every Lakers' run, but couldn't manage to get over the proverbial hump.
Duncan played another out-of-his-mind game, his fourth double-double in as many games this series. But in the end, the Lakers had just enough to get by the third-seeded Spurs.
As I mentioned earlier in this article, the Spurs are the last sports team I will give up on. They have the experience and wherewithal to fight through the underdog status they now have.
I look forward to a testy and challenging Game Five, but I also think San Antonio will at least make this a six-game series.
That being said—fight on, Spurs! It's not over quite yet.