The No. 1-seeded San Antonio Spurs went down tonight at
Memphis, losing their first-round series against the Grizzlies 4-2.
That makes the Spurs just the second No. 1 seed in NBA
history to lose a best-of-seven first-round playoff series.
As we all know, of course, the first one was the Mavericks
in 2007. There also were best-of-five first-round losses by Miami and Seattle,
both of whom were the No. 1 seed and lost to New York and Denver, respectively,
back in the ‘90s.
The Spurs ran into a hot team with the sort of tough players
at exactly the positions they didn’t excel at. Zach Randolph and Marc
Gasol were awesome and Tim Duncan clearly is on the last legs of his career.
In fact, here’s a prediction: don’t be surprised
if Duncan announces his retirement sometimes soon. And I say that without even
checking his contract status. Sometimes, you just know it’s time. And maybe
the Spurs could regroup and make another run next year, but in the immortal
words of Charles Barkley, I doubt it.
The Spurs had the best record in the NBA in the regular
season, just as the Mavericks did back in 2007. And yet, after six games, they
are sitting on the sidelines for the rest of the playoffs. That’s the
same number of games it took Golden State to oust the Mavericks four years ago.
So rejoice, Maverick nation.
The Spurs are goners. And that’s always a good thing
for anybody who supports the Mavericks and has had to endure more than a decade
of San Antonio supremacy.