Perhaps it is fitting considering the popular opinion (which Simmons and I both disagree with loudly) that the Spurs are a “boring” team that wins a lot of games: this is not one of Bill Simmons’ greatest playoff game diaries, but it has some excellent moments and manages to articulate some things about this San Antonio Spurs team that are otherwise difficult to articulate. My favorite example from that article:
Here’s the thing: When you can get quality shots pretty much whenever you want, nothing else really matters. The Spurs, as presently constructed and in their present state of health, are unbeatable. In 10 playoff games, they’re averaging 104.1 points, making 49.4 percent of their shots, hitting 41 percent of their 3s and getting assists on 65 percent of their made baskets. They can survive a lousy offensive game from Parker (happened in Game 1), Ginobili or Duncan (happened in Game 2) without being affected in any way, as long as two of them aren’t struggling at once. They can play smallball; they can handle bigger teams; they can play fast or slow. They can handle absolutely anything.
They’ve won their 10 playoff games by an average of 12.5 points, a potentially historic pace; of the best teams ever, only the 1971 Bucks (+14.5) and 2011 Lakers (+12.8) topped that number, with famous juggernauts like the ’86 Celts (+10.6), ’96 Bulls (+10.6), ’87 Lakers (+11.4), ’83 Sixers (+5.9), ’91 Bulls (+11.7) and ’72 Lakers (+3.3) falling short of that mark. They’ve also won an astonishing 20 straight games dating back to the regular season; only three other teams have EVER won more than that (all regular-season streaks, too), and if they sweep Oklahoma City, that 22-game streak will tie the ’08 Rockets for the second-longest streak ever (even if the NBA won’t officially recognize it). Oh, and they’re only six wins away from being the first NBA team to sweep the NBA playoffs. Let’s be honest: This is insane.
He also tackles the idea that the Spurs are “boring”:
I gotta be honest … I don’t understand how anyone could say the Spurs are boring when they have two guards who (a) play beautifully together, (b) get better when it matters, and (c) consistently make some of the most incredibly unique baskets in the league. Three times per Spurs game, either Manu or Parker invents a shot or a drive that makes you say, “Wait, have I ever seen that before?” That’s boring?
(Just for fun, after you read his game diary, if you want to compare it to my live-tweeting of the game, you might see that we noticed a few similar things, though he obviously expands on them quite a bit more.)