Some part of every one of us believes in the possibility of winning this series. The easy story, the one where the Spurs team won game three for Pop, was set up. The Spurs gave a good effort. It was not enough. The Spurs are down 3-0. Teams are 127-0 with a 3-0 lead and have two more chances to add to that tally in this year’s playoffs.
The thing about those odds and history stacking against you is that the underdog had to fail dozens of times to make it special when they overcome. UMBC beat Virginia this season and part of what made that special was all of the other losses by 16-seeds before.
This Spurs team is missing about $35 million worth of production on the floor each night. While the Warriors are missing the same, they also have an underpaid HOFer in Kevin Durant to help ease that loss. Tony Parker’s performance is not really worth the value he is bringing to the court. That $10 million could be better spent on more scoring, and younger, more talented legs.
The playoffs make your failings clear and unmistakable. Look at Portland, a team that rode a talented backcourt and an overpriced, ill-fitting roster to the third seed on the strength of that backcourt’s ability to take over games. They are exposed as ill-fitting and overpriced in the face of a super star with a roster perfectly suited to complement him.
This Spurs team is a suite of complementary pieces without the star center piece. That SA cannot compete with the greatest collection of current-prime talent in league history is unsurprising. All we had was belief in the improbable and hope in the unlikely.
I have no idea what will happen with Kawhi Leonard in the offseason. Life is ugly and messy sometimes and people fight and make bad decisions. There are hundreds of ways to compile a successful basketball team and the current managment of Spurs, Inc has a good track record for doing so.
At the very least the Spurs should be competitive again next season. As we have seen with the Jazz (lost Gordon Heyward and thought they were in for a long rebuild only to get Donovan Mitchell and not lose a step), and Pelicans (lost Demarcus Cousins and thought they were in the toilet only to look like contenders).
The Spurs still have a better-than-zero shot at signing the second-best SF in the league, add a first round pick, and develop Dejounte Murray while pairing them with LaMarcus Aldridge, one of the game’s better big men. There is enough roster flexibility to add pieces and make some moves to put this team in at least a position to benefit from other squad’s bad luck.
Right now this awful season sure looks bad, but as the Zen proverb goes: “We’ll see.”