Monday 22nd April 2024,
The Hoop Doctors

Tony Parker and Spurs Didn’t Revel in Beating Lakers

Tony Parker feels your pain, Los Angeles.

The San Antonio Spurs absolutely manhandled the depleted Los Angeles Lakers in the first round of the NBA playoffs, sweeping the boys in purple and gold. It wasn’t a competitive sweep either. San Antonio’s average margin of victory through four games was 16.3 points. The team has got to be feeling good about that.

As it turns out, the Spurs aren’t. They’re not reveling in the sweep or making bold predictions because of it. They almost seem sorry. Or at least Parker does.

Per Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News, Parker wasn’t satisfied with the version of the Lakers the Spurs were able to destroy.

Parker also apologized in a video posted by TMZ for how the Spurs won.

Did he mean it? Any of it?

Of course he did. That’s not something you lie about. I’d hazard he was thrilled that the Spurs were able to advance, but he’s not about to pretend that San Antonio played the best team Los Angeles could field.

In Game 4, Steve Blake, Kobe Bryant, Jodie Meeks, Steve Nash and Metta World Peace were all sidelined with injuries. Midway through the third quarter, Dwight Howard was ejected for receiving his second technical. The Lakers were not whole. Not even close.

Credit still must be given to a Spurs faction that carved up a clearly inferior opponent. And it must also be given to the realist that is Parker. Postseason basketball is about the best teams in the league waging war against other. It’s about long games and longer series. It’s not supposed to be about beat downs, like the one San Antonio handed Los Angeles.

Still, that’s what happened, and Parker should hardly apologize or express any sense of remorse. He was probably just being kind for the cameras in the video, but he seems genuine in his regret for how the Lakers stacked up in this series. And that’s something you have to appreciate.

Winning isn’t supposed to come easy, and most of the time, it doesn’t. Parker and the Spurs know that. When you’re fighting toward a championship, though, you want to be able to say that you beat the best en route to being the best. You want to say you were up to the challenges presented. Los Angeles wasn’t a challenge. Not a real one.

Parker and friends would have welcomed a playoff bout against a healthy Lakers team. They would have reveled in beating an outfit that wasn’t down Bryant for all four games, Nash for two and a self-destructive Howard in Game 4. They’re that kind of organization.

Which is why they deserve to move on. They took care of a reeling opponent in stride and either the Golden State Warriors or Denver Nuggets await (probably the Warriors). From there, the Spurs will keep their eyes fixated on the Western Conference Finals and the opportunity at hand. Russell Westbrook is gone for the Oklahoma City Thunder, and the west is suddenly more wide open than it has ever been this year.

Of course, Parker would likely apologize to the Thunder for Westbrook’s absence. To the Nuggets for Danilo Gallinari’s. And to the Warriors for David Lee’s. The Spurs were never looking to take the easy route, it has just sort of happened. And they should welcome it. They deserve it. If the stars align and they’re able to face a favorable schedule from now until the NBA Finals, then so be it.

No apologies necessary.

Dan Favale is a firm believer in the three-pointer as well as the notion that defense doesn’t always win championships. His musings can be found at Bleacherreport.com in addition to TheHoopDoctors.com. Follow @danfavale on Twitter for his latest posts and all things NBA.

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