The San Antonio Spurs have advanced to the Western Conference Finals for the third consecutive year.
That’s a phrase fans will never get tired of hearing.
After a rocky first half, the Spurs kicked their game into gear to dominate the Portland Trail Blazers 104-82. Surprisingly, this was done without Tony Parker, who left the game early due to tightness in his left hamstring. For a while, the reason for Parker’s abrupt trip to the locker room was unknown. All Spurs fans knew was that he was followed into the tunnel by the team doctor and R.C. Buford. Those moments of uncertainty were enough to send fans into a panic, even though the team had the lead. A few devoted fans even took to Twitter to playfully donate their hamstrings to Parker, in true Spurs fan fashion. They later breathed a sigh of relief when the report of Parker’s injury was released. He left game five for precautionary reasons and was not seriously injured.
While Parker was out, the Spurs bench took over and proved why they are one of the best in the league, helping extend the lead to 28 points and force 18 turnovers. This display of experience triumphing youth was something Batum couldn’t bear to watch as he sat on the bench with a towel covering his face.
The Spurs continued to capitalize on the Blazer’s mistakes, taking one step closer to the Larry O’Brien trophy.
As I began typing this post shortly after the game, I could hear the honking and screaming of Spurs fans rallying in the streets of downtown San Antonio to celebrate the advancement. That excitement was matched online as fans used 140 characters to fire up Twitter with praise for the team and predictions for the games ahead. They had much to say when asked “Who would you rather the Spurs play in the WCF? Why?” Here are just a fraction of the reactions:
“OKC! Because great match ups! And I love competing against KD.” – @binderfuloftori
“OKC. I wanted Clippers but it looks like Thunder have it. Revenge would be so sweet.” – @matt194z
“The Clippers most definitely…OKC is way more athletic, and have killed us in the past…Spurs will be ready!” – @JordanMay1
“OKC…not as deep, easier to defend.” -@mikem2021
“LAC. Tim Duncan & Spurs always frustrate Blake Griffin & Clippers and OKC & LAC are just average defensively.” -@CraigSagerJr
“Clippers definitely. OKC challenges us in ways no other team does. Speedy defense, Ibaka, Jackson – no thank you.” -@Seanjake
“Honestly, it’s got to be the Clippers. Too much to explain in just 140 characters. OKC, they’re a forest fire, when they get hot.” -@tiesNchanclas
“Can bang with the Clips or outsmart Thunder. If we’re healthy, it won’t matter.” -@SpursfanSteve
The match up for the Western Conference Finals could be set by tonight or Saturday. Until then, Spurs Nation will be waiting anxiously and licking their chops.