An End to Thick Resistance
I'm really going back and forth on this one. Those offensive fouls were bullshit, but aren't most Spurs flops? The hit on David West was fucked-up and unfortunate, sure. Was it all that different from their usual screening practices? I've become so numb to these two questionable aspects of San Antonio's play that, immediately following the game, I didn't even register outrage. The Spurs did the Spurs, the Hornets were susceptible to it, and it worked. The acting, the hit . . . I've lost the capacity to call them wrong. They happen every year, and at this point, it's pointless to resist or protest. My initial reaction, lame as it sounds, was "well, that's par for the course, not especially malicious or arrogant." At least it wasn't Horry on Nash.
The thing is, I actually find San Antonio quite watchable these days. Manu is brilliant, Parker's directional changes have come into their own and provided a great metaphor for his emergence as someone I don't fervently hate. Oberto passes well. Duncan in small doses allows you to appreciate his impeccable movements. Even more so when he's either perfect or ineffective. However, today the utter resignation I feel toward the Spurs is like never before. It's even gone past the "they win by faith healing" thing I propose on Deadspin.
This team is dirty, disingenuous, sanctimonious, and have conditioned us to expect nothing less, to excuse them, even. The sad thing is, they could probably win games without that element. If you just said "Barry Bonds" to yourself in your head, I won't blame you one bit. And there is totally a media conspiracy to preserve their reputation. The entire lexicon of post-season commentary is designed to lionize their strengths, gloss over their weaknesses, and turn their sins into feats of wonder.