Sportswriters love to ordain dynasties and legacies, which involves much messy chopping of logic and dictionary definitions.
We will desist from that silly exercise and merely remark that the San Antonio Spurs always have a chance, they play basketball better than anyone else (even if they’re not always the most talented team), and they are one of the most edifying athletic spectacles of our time.
Whether or not that makes the Spurs a dynasty that will leave a legacy has mattered not one bit for the last ten years. All that matters here in South Texas is that the Spurs always put up a fight during NBA playoff time.
The Spurs’ 91-82 win at New Orleans in Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals Monday night was one of the great gut checks in their history. Beating the conference top seed on the road for the only road win of the series shows that the Spurs remain serious. They may be getting old, but they can still hold off the young challengers.
Now, the Spurs continue their drive for a fifth NBA title in ten years with a best-of-seven Western Conference Finals series against the Los Angeles Lakers. It won’t be quite like the old days when the Lakers had former San Antonio prep star Shaquille O’Neal, who matured into the most reviled athlete in San Antonio. But it will be like the old days in that the Spurs are pitching to go the distance.
As always, the Spurs have the star power, the wisdom and, of course, the defense. It remains to be seen if they have the guns. But they do have the chance to finally notch back-to-back world titles. After their win Monday in New Orleans, we’re more sure of that than ever.