It is now evident to even the most fervently hopeful San Antonians that the Spurs are not advancing to the 2017 NBA Finals, not without Kawhi Leonard.
With Kawhi Leonard at the team hotel, rather than Oracle Arena, the Spurs suffered one of the worst playoff losses in franchise history.
There’s a widely-accepted maxim in NBA playoff basketball that the most difficult win to attain is the close-out game.
In Game 5 of the Spurs’ first-round playoff series against the Grizzlies, Manu Ginobili scored eight points in the first quarter of the Spurs’ 116-103 win.
The fact the Spurs and Grizzlies played an instant classic playoff game won’t mollify Spurs fans disappointed by a 110-108 overtime loss.
It was supposed to be a conversation about life on the basketball court after Tim Duncan. Gregg Popovich turned it into a discussion of race relations.