Gregg Doyel seemed to be. I just don’t get the angle he takes in this column.
SAN ANTONIO -- The wrong team played like there was no tomorrow. The wrong team panicked. The wrong team choked.
Well, since the Spurs were going to be eliminated from the playoffs if they lost, I’d say that they needed to play like there was no tomorrow – because there was no tomorrow.
The New Orleans Hornets blew Game 6 on Thursday night -- losing 99-80 -- and part of me wonders if they blew Game 7 while they were at it.
Nope – Game 7 is at home on Monday. They may lose that game, because the Spurs are a good basketball team, but not because they lost game 6.
If anyone was going to wilt Thursday at the AT&T Center, it should have been San Antonio.
Because they are the defending NBA champions playing at home in a conference semi-finals game against a team in the playoffs in the first time. Yeah, who expected the Spurs to not wilt in that situation!
Granted, home teams haven't done a lot of wilting this NBA postseason -- entering this game, home teams were 19-1 in the conference semifinals -- but San Antonio was facing a game unlike any of those first 20: The Spurs walked onto their home floor facing elimination. And they did so as the defending NBA champions.
Sooo…they were more likely to wilt, because of the pressure? The Popovich/Duncan era Spurs have four fucking rings.
Add that up, and throw in the fact that San Antonio's last elimination game had occurred in the 2006 postseason -- and the Spurs lost that game, to Dallas, in the conference semifinals -- and this had all the makings of a potential San Antonio panic attack.
Oh, well, I hadn’t realized it was there first elimination game (are those the only big games) in two years and they lost the last one. Who didn’t see them losing 2 in a row in that scenario (separated by a mere 2 years)?
But the Spurs were just fine.
The rest of the column is a typical game summary.