The Spurs have treated their fans to some of the biggest and best playoff memories in their existence. For example, winning four NBA titles, the “Memorial Day Miracle”, the “TD 3” against the Suns, Steve Kerr’s 3-point bombardment on the Mavs, and a thrilling game 7 against the Pistons in the 2005 NBA Finals.
But what about the other memories us Spurs fans like to pretend never happened? Let’s take a look at the Spurs top five worst playoff memories.
5. 1983 Western Conference Finals, Game 6
It was the “Iceman” and the Spurs taking on “Magic” and the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1983 Western Conference Finals. In an odd way, this game would be very foretelling of the future these two franchises will have playing against each other.
After finishing the season with a 53-29 record and winning the Midwest Division, the Spurs looked poised to make a run at the Finals. They eliminated the Denver Nuggets (4-1) in the semi-finals and advanced to the Western Conference Finals to take on the L.A. Lakers. The Spurs got the split on the road to open the series, won two games in the Forum but just couldn’t win at home. They lost all home games against the Lakers and had a heartbreaking game 6, losing the the Lakers by one point! Final score: 101-100, Lakers.
4. Manu Fouls Dirk in Game 7 of the 2006 Western Conference Semi-Finals
Not only did the Spurs rally back from a 3-1 series hole, the Spurs also rallied back from a huge deficit in game 6 and things were looking great! Late in the fourth quarter, Manu hits a clutch 3 to give the Spurs their only lead of the game with 32 seconds left. And in a blink of an eye, Manu went from hero to goat. With 20 seconds remaining in regulation, Manu fouls Dirk Nowitzki as he was going to the basket, giving Dirk the “and 1.” This ties the game and in overtime the Spurs lose to the Mavericks, 119-111 and lose the series. They do not defend their NBA title.
3. The Rod Strickland Pass in the 1990 Western Conference Semi-Finals
It was game 7 of the 1990 Western Conference Semi-Finals between the Spurs and Blazers. Tied in overtime, 103-103, the Spurs had posession of the ball with 30 seconds remaining when Rod Strickland threw a no-look pass to no one! Apparently he thought Sean Elliott was going to cut to the basket on the baseline. Jerome Kersey saves the ball from going out of bounds, passes the ball to Drexler, who was then fouled from behind by Strickland, giving the Blazers a breakway foul. Drexler would go on to make the free throws and the Spurs would eventually lose the game 108-105 and the series.
2. Hakeem Olajuwon Destroys David Robinson in Game 1 of the 1995 Western Conference Finals
The 1995 Spurs had the NBA’s best regular season record and the Spurs marched to the Western Conference Finals to face Hakeem Olajuwon and the Houston Rockets. That year, David Robinson was named the 1995 NBA MVP but some felt Olajuwon deserved it more. So what did the Spurs and the NBA decide to do? Give the MVP trophy to Robinson right before the series started. Call it motivation for Hakeem but he absolutely demolished Robinson. Hakeem and the Rockets went on to win game 1 and the series.
With the series tied, 2-2, between the Spurs and Lakers in the 2004 NBA Western Conference Semi-Finals, Game 5 proved to be the worst heartache for Spurs fans in recent years. The score was 72-71, Lakers, and with seconds left in the fourth quarter, Tim Duncan hit an amazing shot over Shaq to give the Spurs the lead, 73-72 with .4 seconds left in the game. After a Lakers timeout, Gary Payton inbounded the ball to Derek Fisher who then shot over Ginobili in .4 seconds. Fisher made it, winning the game for LA. Final score 74-73. The Spurs never recovered and went on to lose the series. Once again the Spurs do not defend their NBA title.
Well there you have it Spurs fans. Sorry to open old wounds. Leave us your comments on what you feel are other tough Spurs playoff memories you experienced.