The NBA Los Angeles Clippers were swept by the San Antonio Spurs in their playoff series earlier this week. The Clippers find themselves contemplating the loss.
"Look how many back doors [the Spurs] got. When it was a close game, they come down and run this little play where they hit Timmy [Duncan] and then just drop it to Tony [Parker] for a layup. It's tough. They know how to play. They come out after timeouts and they execute."
It's difficult to praise the Spurs without touching on the particulars of their game between the lines. There are few pyrotechnics because they're not the quickest or most athletic group. The Spurs big men are nailed to the floor, but play virtually mistake-free ball. On the rare occasions the Spurs do err, you'll know it from venom spewing forth from Popovich off the bench. But overall, this is a team that's hyper-aware of spacing, rarely out of defensive position, and consistently willing to give up a decent look for a squeaky clean one."
--Chris Paul, Clippers' point guard, who, though injured, was outplayed by the Spurs' veteran Tony Parker.
"This is kind of the model team as far as how to run an organization year in and year out and how to win games and championships. The way [Duncan] plays is so methodical, but at the same time he doesn't overthink the game. That's something I want to get to."
--Blake Griffin, Clippers' spectacular young forward, discussing his learning.
Will the Clippers learn from their opponents and mentally regroup or decide to dismantle and rebuild?
"It's our system," the Spurs' Tim Duncan said. "We understand our system and have a bunch of guys who understand what we're capable of, and we just kind of plug things in."
Excerpts from ESPN.com (5/24/2012).
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