It wasn't looking good for SA at the start of the 4th quarter, but than Ginobili caught on fire. Hell of a first game, looks like this series may go on for awhile. And how bout Coach Pop asking his guys to play "nasty". I must admit, I've asked a provider or two to show me her "nasty" side.
Popovich's tactic of sacrificing some games in the late season and resting Ginobli, Parker and Duncan has payed off so far, as they're the only undefeated team in the playoffs. They's also gotten solid play from their bench. Oklahoma City is more athletic than either Utah or the Clippers, but I think the Spurs will win in 6.
I have never seen a player of his stature (obvious no question first ballot hall of famer) who generates less fan fare and national excitement than Tim Duncan. If you took a poll (Outside of San Antonio of course) and asked NBA fans to list the elite players over the past 25 years you'd hear all the usual suspects: MJ, Kobe, Ewing, Barkley, Pippen, Malone, Stockton, Garnett, LeBron, Wade, Shaq, Nowitski, Miller, Kidd, Hakeem, Robinson, Drexler, etc. etc. It would take some time before people remembered Duncan. All Tim Duncan does is win and play the game the right way.
I don't get it. What Duncan and the Spurs have accomplished over the past 15 years is incredible. Yes, they got lucky that had the opportunity to draft both both Duncan/David Robinson, but any team could have had Parker or Ginobli. Their scouting department is awesome and they know how to balance the roster with the right complimentary roll players (I wish my Knicks would follow suit; but I digress) Heck, even their coach (who is one of the best) is sometimes an afterthought in people's mind.
Will they beat the Thunder? It will certainly be tough. But if you are an NBA fan you can not help but marvel at the consistency of the Spurs during the Duncan era.
Part of the reason is that he plays in a small-market city and has never shown any interest in free agency. Most of it is because Duncan has always shunned the limelight since his college days at Wake Forest, where he played for 4 years, a rarity. Watch him play and you'll see why he's called the Big Fundamental. He has the prettiest bank shot since Sam Jones of the old Celtics.