The same question has been floating around since the crushing loss the San Antonio Spurs suffered in game 4 on Tuesday in Oklahoma City: is game 5 a must win? Yes. Just plain and simple yes.
Realistically, if the Spurs lose tonight they still have two games left in the series and they would have to win both in order to go back to the finals for the second year in a row. But, winning a game 6 in OKC? Easier said than done. Especially when they are on an eight game losing streak at the Chesapeake Energy Center.
So here are 7 reasons tonight is a Must Win for the Spurs:
M- Mental Boost: A win tonight would give the Spurs a huge boost in their positive thinking and confidence level going into game 6 in OKC. After losing games 3 and 4 on the road, the Spurs could use a win to get them back on the right track.
U- Unfinished Business: The Spurs have unfinished business in the Finals. They need to be aggressive tonight to take game 5 and continue to be on the road to return to the Finals to face either Miami or Indiana. This becomes even more important if Miami also returns to the Finals.
S- Streak in OKC: Going down in the series 3-2 is never fun. Especially when you’re going on the road and have a losing streak in the arena. It would be incredibly difficult for the Spurs to walk into OKC for game 6 and not only play a win or go home game, but to have to play it on the road in an arena where they have not won the past 8 games.
T- Time for Rest: Ideally, all Spurs fans would like to see them when the next two games and have it not go to a game 7. By winning tonight, the Spurs would have the chance at being able to do just that and get a little bit more rest before the Finals start June 5.
W- Win or Go Home: While tonight’s game is not a win or go home game, if they lose, the next game will be. The Spurs will need to play with a game 7 mentality to match the Thunder’s aggressiveness and drive.
I- Ignite the Fire: The Spurs need a win tonight to help re-ignite the passion and drive that they have for the championship. No doubt that passion and fire is still there somewhere, but a win tonight could really help them bounce back from losing two on the road in OKC.
N- Not 2012: A win tonight could finally put to rest all the questions of “whether or not this is 2012 all over again.” The question started after OKC lost the first two games in San Antonio and then intensified after the Spurs lost both in OKC. The Spurs are a different team than they were back in 2012, and it’s time for them to show just how far they have come in two years.
Tipoff is at 8 p.m. Central Time tonight. Don’t forget to follow your Project Spurs staff, including myself, on Twitter tonight for live updates from the AT&T Center.