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Used to be one of the wonders of the world: Spurs-Suns

May 8, 2010

If you want my attempt at writing about the Spurs-Suns from a more objective standpoint, head over to The Faster Times, but if you want me depressed with nothing to say then here's the place for it: 

The day the Wear brothers transferred from UNC, leaving the Heels with two post players for next year, on the same night where I saw the Braves go without a hit for the first seven innings of a 3-2 loss to the Nationals, my Dad asked me, "Is the series over?" in reference to the Spurs-Suns series, and, trying to remain positive on a day when most of my sports teams seemed to be floundering, I responded, "It'll be tough for them to win the series, but I really do think they'll win Game 3."  I was wrong.  I was really wrong.

A lot of people want to say that this Suns team is a lot better than any of their teams in the past.  I'm not sure of that, but I do know that they're better than this year's San Antonio Spurs; and that these Spurs are no where near as good as the Spurs teams that went onto win championships or even play in the WCF.

I told my Dad "they'll win Game 3," but, last night, as Goran Dragic surpassed Jared Dudley's Game 2 efforts to become the embodiment of the paradigm shift between these two teams, I was silent.  So was the AT&T Center, and both felt empty.  I've never cried over a basketball game, but last night I kind of wanted to, mainly because I was in such shock that I didn't know what else to do.

When Manu Ginobili went off in the third quarter, hitting off balance shots and step back threes, I thought the Spurs had this because that's how this series always goes.  Whenever the Suns push the Spurs, Manu slashes their throats with a play no other player would even attempt, Duncan stands like the Colossus of Rhodes, and if necessary, a Robert Horry intimidates the pieces of the puzzle into their proper places, denying the serfs their rise.  I thought Manu's play in the third quarter would inspire, as Manu and Duncan's play always has, the supporting Spurs to do something of merit; instead, Goran Dragic became what Steve Kerr was for the Spurs off the bench in '03 against the Mavs: unstoppable, inexplicable, devastating.  As a Spurs fan, I haven't felt this way since Derek Fisher stopped time in 2004.

And now we live inside the paradox where Tim Duncan is less inspiring than Steve Nash because, for once, it was Nash's supporting cast that was not intimidated, did not shrink, and did what they had to do, if not more.  And now I feel like Linus without my blue blanket because now it feels like Duncan's been reduced to that statue of a foot on Lost, or worse yet he just got stabbed like Jacob and is now waiting to be kicked into the fire.  One could even go as far as to say that we saw the Suns in John Locke's body, but they were no longer John Locke--they were a pick and roll smoke monster.  This is strange stuff: revelatory and world-changing and any other word you've got for turning point.

Or, it at least feels like it should be.

Everyone is shocked, or acting like they just got back from Damascus, but before the Spurs beat the Mavs, most people were talking about the Suns as possibly the best team in the Western Conference (cause of their record) and as a threat to challenge the Mavs and the Lakers.  They were a lot of people's sleeper pick, until we all saw the Spurs handle the Mavs and forgot what year this is.

I'm still not sure how to react.  My safety blanket is a broken statue, and I long to be like Sayid in this current season of Lost, feeling absolutely nothing.  San Antonio could get swept.  They could win Game 4, maybe even Game 5. They have had double digit leads in each of the last two games.  Who knows?  Maybe this is all just a set up for the ultimate con against Phoenix.  A team's never come back from 3-0, but then again Steve Nash has never beaten the Spurs.  I would think it possible, if there had been so much as a whisper out of San Antonio, its team, or its fans.

All in all, it feels like "night on the sun" and things are "hopelessly hopeless."

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