Unfamiliar-like Spurs Pounded by James, Cavs; Phoenix is All But Done as Well
In a game where the Spurs try to make another surge for #2, and to hold onto #3 was slashed and dashed on Sunday in Cleveland. Instead of their usual turn-up-the-heat play going into the postseason, they have gone flat and are stumbling into the playoffs. Something that could, (even with homecourt), get them the boot in the first round. Even Tim Duncan must be in disgust, after a rather quick exit out of the Arena, refusing to talk to any reporters. Frustrations on the Spurs' part? Ironically, AFTER Manu Ginobili has returned, the offense has been worse, and the Spurs have been struggling to get into a rhythm for a 48-minute game. Losing to weak teams such as the Thunder, and barely beating a Pacers team en route to a 126-121 finish. Cleveland lost two in-a-row before returning home, and they definitely took that frustration out on San Antonio. LeBron James took complete control of the game right from the start, Spurs not doubling him or putting strong pressure on him, and he burned them. At one point in the 1st, James scored 14 straight points for the Cavaliers. Tony Parker had a great first, but then it all went sour for San Antonio. A quick 12-2 burst to start the 2nd and the Cavaliers inevitably sealed the deal. Spurs made a few surges in the 3rd, but fell apart in the 4th en routing to a blow-out victory for Cleveland. Spurs are in unfamiliar territory. Usually surging, sometimes double-digit win streaks, and climbing the standings. Instead? Losing, dropping, slumping, and not looking playoff-ready. Someone better wake the team up. If not, playoff times won't look good as they used to in San Antonio, and instead of a power team who won 4 titles in 10 seasons, you will see a Spurs team that hasn't been around in well over a decade.
81 101 - BOXSCORE
San Antonio wasn't the only city and team feeling stressed about their latest loss. Phoenix fans might be taking it even harder. Nash's Suns allowed a ridiculous 81 first half points to Dirk and the Dallas Mavericks. Jason Kidd also passed Magic Johnson on the All-Time assists leaders as well in the contest. With such a poor defense by Phoenix, they really never had a chance, and i'm sure all of us knew it too. Offense is great to watch, but better defense gets you a little farther. A perfect package? You're as dominant as the current Cavaliers, who by the way are now 62-15, which is their franchise best record and building. Phoenix's poor play and 140-116 loss dropped them 4 games behind Dallas, and essentially out of the playoffs. They will officially with a Dallas win or a Phoenix loss. So instead of Shaq asking Kobe how it tastes, maybe he will return the favor with a laugh of his own. All talk, and no walk. Sorry, Shaq. This is the second time in his career to miss a postseason, first being his ROOKIE YEAR in Orlando who finished 41-41. Better luck next year, Phoenix. So we practically have our 8 teams ready to go in the West. Now the finale begins, with 2-7 scrambling to lock their spot.
116 140 - BOXSCORE
Photos, logos, and Boxscores pulled from ESPN.com