Yeah, I know it ain't over yet. But I'd pretty much decided it was over before it started anyway. The Spurs' playoff chances, that is.
I didn't figure they would make it all the way this year even with a healthy Manu Ginobili. Now with Manu out, it looks like they are going to get bounced out of the playoffs in the first round for the first time since 2000.
But, hey, at least they made it to the playoffs - and won their division to boot. So we should be happy with that and look forward to doing better next year.
Only, what will the Spurs look like next year?
I'm betting we will see a major shakeup of this team almost to the core. The way I see it there are only three indispensible players right now - Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili. Everyone else is expendable at one level or another.
I'm thinking they will hang onto Roger Mason Jr. and George Hill, and I kind of hope that they will keep Drew Gooden around as well. But everyone else may be cleared out before next year rolls around. Michael Finley and Bruce Bowen may both retire. Kurt Thomas and Fabricio Oberto will be cleared out to make room for some younger and more aggresive rebounders. Ime Udoka and Matt Bonner are too inconsistent and Jacques Vaughn is being pushed out by Hill.
Of course, I don't know if there are contractual obligations that could keep some of these guys around longer. And I don't know the availability of people who could possibly replace them. But I just know that we aren't going to get any further with the same crew in place anymore and something will have to change.
The last game against Dallas should have made that clear. Tony Parker plays his heart out and scores 43 points while Tim Duncan contributes a solid 25 points and yet the Spurs still lose 99 to 90. How did that happen?
If you look at the stats for the Dallas Mavericks you see that only one player on the team scored more points than Tim (and just barely - Josh Howard had 28 points). But because everyone on the team contributed they still won.
How pathetic were the rest of the Spurs? Finley had a weak 7 points after playing 36 minutes. Bowen had 5 points in 31 minutes. Bonner played 22 minutest and scored squat. Udoka was in for 19 minutes at scored 1 point and Mason was in for 17 minutes and scored nada. That's pathetic! There is no excuse for losing a game like that.
The reason the Spurs are struggling right now is because they didn't bring someone in to help Timmy out under the basket the way Timmy came in early in his career to help out David Robinson. But now there is no one around to help him out as he goes into the twilight of his career.
Another problem is whoever the coaching wizard was who found Parker and Ginobili for the Spurs must be gone now, because that person surely would not have let Luis Scola slip away like the Spurs did. Now Scola is helping the Houston Rockets go to the next round of the playoffs rather than helping the Spurs.
Do you think we could trade the latter half of our team to Houston now and get him back? No, I didn't think so.