Everyone expected the Dallas Mavericks series to be done in four or five games.
Everyone expected the Portland Trail Blazers series to be a six or seven game nailbiter.
The basketball gods decided to make all of us look foolish.
Game One: After running Dallas out of the building in game seven of the previous series, the San Antonio Spurs carried it over to game one. The San Antonio Spurs never led by less than 20 in the second half. Just like that, the Blazers looked like lost puppy dogs playing against a real defense (sorry, Houston. It’s the truth). Marco Belinelli realized the playoffs had begun, nearly scoring as many points as he had the entire Dallas series (19 to 21). Aron Baynes entered the game, and the Blazers most likely had no clue who he was. After dropping ten points and adding seven rebounds, the Blazers could have thought he was the Batman villain, but then TNT explained who he actually was.
Game Two: Blazers forward Thomas Robinson found a snake in his locker before the game. No, not the classic video game. A real snake. In an NBA locker room. I’m sure he was just as surprised as you were. It was believed to be a baby rattlesnake, but was later found out to be a non-venomous snake. No harm, no foul. Spurs general manager RC Buford was honored with Executive of the Year during pregame warm-ups. This was the first time he won the award. That Jeff Ayres signing really put him over the top. In all seriousness, it was a long time coming for Buford, and he deserved the award after all these years. Once all these pregame shenanigans were finished, an actual game happened. The Spurs steamrolled the Blazers once again, behind 60% shooting from downtown and a dominant performance by Kawhi Leonard.
Game Three: As the series shifted to Portland, the Blazers had a newfound hope to rally back in the series. That was squashed pretty quickly. The Spurs jumped out to a ten point first quarter lead, and then doubled it after two. Tony Parker was dominant, and the Spurs didn’t miss the entire game, from the free throw line, that is. Their 25-for-25 performance set a franchise playoff record. The third straight dominant had Spurs fans proclaiming:
Game Four: The storms were hitting San Antonio and Texas, leaving many without a good picture. The storm hit the Spurs as well, as the Blazers rolled over the Spurs 103-92. What happened to all those nailbiters in round one? That was exciting. All these blowouts have been yawners. Unless, of course, your team is the one doing the blowout. There’s a reason the complaint is coming in the game four section. But, I digress. The Blazers were determined to return to San Antonio so they could go to Sea World, so this guy named Will Barton (17 points, six rebounds) had the game of his life. Batum nearly had a triple-double. The Trail Blazers new motto “Why not us?” suddenly as Spurs fans panicking for no apparent reason.
Game Five: The Spurs returned to the Alamo City. Tony Parker injured his hamstring in the first half, but that didn’t slow the Spurs down at all. Patty Mills was dynamite in the backup role. Kawhi Leonard had a lot of “The Hand” moves. The Spurs advance to the Western Conference Finals for the third straight season for the first time in franchise history.
After all, you can’t escape the smirk.