Last night the San Antonio Spurs were eliminated from the playoffs by the Los Angeles Lakers. There are a few important ramifications of this. First is that the defending champs won’t repeat this year. Second is that the #1 defensive team has been eliminated. At least one more of the top 4 defensive teams will be eliminated when the Pistons & Nets series is complete. Third is that the 03/04 NBA playoffs has it’s first upset (for an entire series). Finally, the Lakers will have to get a bigger bandwagon, because everyone will be jumping back on.
Well not everyone. Even though I was incorrect his round, I’ll stand by my predictions that the Yellow & Purple won’t be holding the big trophy by summertime. They still have two more series to win on the road, and taking the entire field seems to be at least even odds against a single team.
As for the Spurs, their defense looked fine, but their offense fizzled out. Their 32% eFG% was indicative of their poor play. Despite having a huge edge with 21 offensive rebounds to 8, the Spurs were worse in three other important categories eFG% (51% to 32%), getting to the free throw line (41 to 26 FTA), and turnovers (14 to 11). The Tony Parker that was excellent on the scoring end in 3 of the first 4 games disappeared. Thus the Lakers just needed to double team Duncan to hinder San Antonio’s offense. The Spurs tried to react giving more time to Ginobili, Horry and Brown, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the poor shooting of Nesterovic, Turkoglu, and Parker.