Spurs Still Carrying Scars Of OKC

SAN ANTONIO — Never mind the Alamo. Gregg Popovich wants to make sure the Spurs remember the Thunder.

“We’re still feeling the pain of that loss to Oklahoma City,” Pop said at Monday’s Media Day festivities. “When you’re in the conference finals and you’re up 2-0 and you don’t’ get it done that hurts.

“Obviously, you give them credit. They’re a heck of a team. But that doesn’t take the hurt away and I think we all still feel it, and that’s good. We’ve got to use that.

“That was a very, very tough loss and we think about it now, as we have all summer long and we’ve got to see what else we can do to combat that youth and that talent. We’ve got some ideas and we’ll see what happens.”

The Spurs had won 20 consecutive games from the end of the regular season through building their 2-up lead on OKC.

“There was an identity theft that took place in that playoff,” Popovich said. “We played like the Spurs the first couple of games. Oklahoma City, I believe, learned from that and they played like we did offensively, sharing the ball and trusting their teammates, and we lost our identity. I want to make sure we understand that and get that back.”

Popovich wasn’t just feeding his line to the assembled media. Before coming out onto the practice court, he showed his team some video clips of the loss to the Thunder to hammer home his point. Not that many of them needed a reminded.

“I still think about it,” said Tony Parker. “Sometimes it’s hard to understand basketball. You win 20 games in a row and you feel like you’re playing the best basketball and then you lose four in a row. It’s very hard to understand. But that’s the beauty of sport. Sometimes it’s great. Sometimes it’s very painful. You just hope to be on the right side and at the end of the day.” Not everyone is holding onto the bitter memory.

Manu Ginobili, for one, has let it go.

“I have to,” he said. “We have an 82-game season ahead of us. We know we let a huge opportunity get away. But in my head, I have to start building to get another opportunity like that. Tomorrow we start training camp full steam and try to get as good as we were at that point.”

The Spurs had won 20 consecutive games from the end of the regular season through building their 2-up lead on OKC.

“There was an identity theft that took place in that playoff,” Popovich said. “We played like the Spurs the first couple of games. Oklahoma City, I believe, learned from that and they played like we did offensively, sharing the ball and trusting their teammates, and we lost our identity. I want to make sure we understand that and get that back.”

Popovich wasn’t just feeding his line to the assembled media. Before coming out onto the practice court, he showed his team some video clips of the loss to the Thunder to hammer home his point. Not that many of them needed a reminded.

“I still think about it,” said Tony Parker.  “Sometimes it’s hard to understand basketball.  You win 20 games in a row and you feel like you’re playing the best basketball and then you lose four in a row.  It’s very hard to understand. But that’s the beauty of sport.  Sometimes it’s great.  Sometimes it’s very painful.  You just hope to be on the right side and at the end of the day.”

 


12 Comments

  1. Alex says:

    Spurs are gonna be 1-3 seed yet again and will be a threat for a championship one more time. Not a Spurs fan but i still wanna see Timmy match Kobe’s rings!

  2. Lakers4Life says:

    I was looking for Parker and Ginobili in those last 4 games all over the court. Turns out Bynum and Gasol taught them the secret to invisibility against the Thunder. That was disappointing…the Thunder beast my 3 favorite teams (LaL, Sas, Dal in that order)and then lost to my least favorite. I smells conspiracy.

  3. awaywitwordzwatson says:

    Good piece written about how the Spurs will be using the experience of losing the series to OKC last year to re-invigorate them for another title run this year. But did anybody else notice the writer’s clerical error of duplicating a couple of the same paragraphs within the body of article. Is there a proofreader in the house?? Hire me nba.com…Real talk.

  4. The Spurs lost that series because Popovich outsmarted himself. There were at least two of those four games that they lost where they had a big lead and let OKC come back. First of all he should have never tried to change his lineup by putting Ginobili in the starting 5 after you have already won 20 consecutive games. Obviously, there wasnt a lineup change that was needed, it was more of a change in strategy that was warranted. If you are going to basically “rest” Duncan the entire season by lowering his mpg, then why the hell would you not run the offense through Duncan to slow the game down when you get to the playoffs and have huge leads on these young teams. I understand that the Spurs have changed their offensive philosophy to more of a fast paced game, but you’re not gonna win the speed and athleticism game against OKC’s young horses. Yes the Spurs were good enough to run up the score to gain a lead, but eventually, the Thunder’s youth and athleticism are going to wear down an older team. There is no point in resting Duncan all season if you are not gonna take advantage of his HOF post game once you get in the playoffs. Popp and Doc Rivers are probably the best coaches in the league now that Phil has “retired” but I think Poppovich could have done a better coaching job in that series.

  5. BFoulds says:

    Pop will help the Spurs remember OKC like San Antonio remembers the alamo!!!!!!!!!

    Lets get back to the Finals this year Spurs! Fundamentals > Youth!

  6. silent killers thats what my spurs are…………………………SPURS NATION -4-LIFE.. SAN ANTO STYLE.
    INDIAN CREEK G-Z

  7. Bob says:

    The Spurs stopped playing the ball they were when they were beating the hell out of people. I didn’t think OKC had a prayer. I’m glad Pop said something went horribly wrong. Last years Spurs were primed and lost that edge

  8. Willy says:

    Ya ya ya DECMNYHBW! Tired of your nonsense. Good luck! Fundamental basketball, defensive adjustments, and brilliant coaching along with a great TEAM conceptmgoes a long way on the the way to the title! Spurs beat OKC and the Lakes for the right to play Boston!

  9. AlphaBase25 says:

    Wow. Very little going on here, only 2 guys talking trash… Because its the Spurs…
    Start the season now so 3 guys can talk about the Spurs!!!

  10. don’t worry…you’ll beat OKC this year…but you will lose to the lakers cuz they will win the championship

    • Cam says:

      Don’t you get bored of using that response in every article? I know I’m sure as hell bored of reading it.

  11. Kevin Warren says:

    Bring it on Spurs. Go Thunder! :)

    The west is stacked yet again. Should be a great season.