Is it over?
The San Antonio have been hit with the injury bug in the worse time of the year.
With Tony Parker suffering a knee injury in the second round against Houston to Kawhi Leonard suffering from a left ankle injury that has now sidelined him two games (Game 6 in Houston, Game 2 in Golden State), the Spurs now have their backs against a wall down 0-2 in the West Finals.
Coming off of a Game 1 where the Spurs had everything going and a 25 point lead, it took just one play for all that to change, and possibly the series. San Antonio came out in Game 2, already depleted, their body language said it all.
The news of Kawhi being ruled out for Game 2 and his status for the rest of the series has hit San Antonio and you can tell that it is on everyone players minds.
You lost your leading scorer and defender going into a critical Game 2. The Spurs were losing at least 30-plus points from Kawhi. It is not Kawhi’s fault he got hurt, you can have your say on how it happened or who was at fault but right now, San Antonio looks to be out of contention for a Conference title and another trip to the NBA Finals.
Give credit where it is due to the Golden State Warriors. They came out in Game 2 with momentum and struck first and often. San Antonio has their hands full to say the least. The Warriors still have Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant, with those three alone, they can put up 30-plus points in a heartbeat and Curry is looking in playoff form.
Looking at Game 2 and what was, Jonathon Simmons was one of two Spurs to reach double-figures. Simmons came out with the energy as he got the start for Kawhi. In two career starts in the playoffs, Simmons is averaging 20 points per game.
His performance in Game 2 was foreshadowed by the lack of energy from the supporting cast. Simmons played his best game of the playoffs, and it came at a 36 point thrashing.
How will the Spurs bounce back from this and more importantly, can the Spurs win 4-out of-5 against Golden State?
We have to be honest with ourselves here. As much as I would like to see the Spurs return to the NBA Finals, without Kawhi and Tony and continued inconsistency from the rest of the team, it will be tough for San Antonio to do such a thing.
Bring on the hate mail and how I am not a Spurs supporter, the reality is they are over-matched, big time and the Warriors exposed of this during Game 2.
It is already hard to contain possibly the best shooter in NBA history in Steph but channel him in and you have to worry about Durant who has not skipped a beat with joining Golden State in the offseason.
It all starts on the defensive end and at points in the game it seemed as if the Spurs were in panic mode and trying what they could to switch off on players and by the time they got to them, the ball was already up in the air or moving around the perimeter.
It was not the Spurs team in which we saw in Game 6 against Houston when they got word Kawhi was not going to play. Everyone stepped up in his absence. Game 2, no other starter was in double figures outside of Simmons. The one player that is criticized the most during this game was LaMarcus Aldridge.
Coming off of a 28 point performance in Game 1 shooting 11-of-24 from the field in 40 minutes, Aldridge looked fatigued from the start. He did not assert himself at all. There was no aggression, no physical play and frankly he looked timid in Game 2. He finished with eight points on 4-of-11 shooting in 26 minutes.
Not helping the cause is Patty Mills who has been getting the starting nod since the Houston series. He has just 10 points over the first two games of the series shooting 3-of-14 from the floor. Where was Pau Gasol? Danny Green?
Being inconsistent against a Warriors team that dropped 100-plus over three quarters is hard to overcome. You can’t trade baskets with them either because if that is the gameplan, the Spurs will see their run in the playoffs end, quickly.
The series shifts to the Alamo City for the next two games. You can only hope that the return home will give the Spurs a jolt of energy they desperately need.
They need a gut check, a wake up call, someone to step up, Aldridge to play like the player he can be and is being paid for and show effort.
You can look at it one way or another, but San Antonio cannot play any worse than they did, can they?
It is not over until it is over as they say. Ask the Cavs who up-ended Golden State in the NBA Finals after being down.
Hopefully the Spurs can work their magic and mount a comeback in this series starting this Saturday.