The NBA season finally came to an end for the San Antonio Spurs on Monday night. The Spurs without MVP finalist Kawhi Leonard and future Hall of Famer Tony Parker for the majority of the series could not overcome the talent and depth of the defending Western Conference champions Golden State Warriors. The team was swept in dramatic fashion with only game one being close. Not to take anything away from the Warriors, who will be making their third consecutive trip to the NBA finals, but one has to wonder what the outcome would have been if Leonard and Parker were available. Also forward David Lee was absent in most of game three after sustaining a knee injury and did not play in game four.
Although the Spurs were 8 and 1 without Leonard, the Spurs just could not match up and keep up with the Warriors. Jonathan Simmons filling in for the injured Leonard did his best to keep this from becoming a sweep but few others were able to step up their game at a time stepping up was needed. LaMarcus Aldridge and Pau Gasol were basically MIA’s throughout the series and Patty Mills starting in place of Tony Parker struggled finding his offense.
Coach Popovich played many combinations but could not find the mix that would thwart the Warriors offensively. Manu Ginobili was a bright spot especially in game three where he led the team in scoring with 21 points. But could this have been his last game in a Spurs uniform? At 39 years of age Ginobili has shown that he can still create his own shot but is he willing to endure another long NBA season? As usual the sudden end to a season brings several questions to mind on what happens next. Who will be in a Spurs uniform next season?
Notes: Congratulations to Leonard in being a finalist for both league MVP and Defensive Player of the Year and to Coach Popovich for his finalist bid as Coach of the Year.