Did San Antonio Spurs Give Away 2013 NBA Finals?

By David Fouty
Manu Ginobili Greg Popovich San Antonio Spurs
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The San Antonio Spurs had the 2013 NBA championship firmly in their grasp, but let it slip through their fingertips.

They did everything they wanted to until they went back to Miami. They knew they had to win one of the first two games of the series on the road, which they did. They knew they had to win at least two of three games at home, which they did. All that was left to do was win one of the final two games in Miami which they should have, but didn’t.

Nobody likes to call someone out, but Manu Ginobili brought it on himself. He committed 12 turnovers in the final two games of the series, including a few in the final moments of Game 7 when it seemed like the Spurs had a chance to get back into the game. He seemed to make the kind of errors that happen to much less seasoned players.

Missing shots is one thing, but letting the ball go out of bounds with no pressure is different.

He’s obviously not completely to blame. Gregg Popovich is unlikely to ever give an answer for some of the puzzling late-game decisions he made.

Why was Boris Diaw on the floor for the final play of regulation in Game 6? Why not foul and give the Miami Heat two free throws at the end of Game 6 rather than allow Ray Allen to knock down a corner three to send it to overtime? Why not call a time-out in the final eight seconds of the Game 6 overtime when they were trailing by one point and get Tony Parker, who was on the bench, into the game instead of letting the 21-year-old Kawhi Leonard take the ball up the floor?

Why was Ginobili handling the ball in the end of Game 7 with Parker sitting on the bench? Sure, the Heat had been shutting down Parker, but the inbound play they called out of the timeout called for someone to cut to the basket to create an open look, and Ginobili threw it to Lebron James after leaving his feet.

Not to take anything away from the Heat, but the Spurs were in prime position to earn their fifth title and let it slip away. I don’t want to suggest I know more than Popovich about basketball, because I don’t, but that doesn’t mean I can’t ask him a question.

David Fouty is a columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @davefouty, “Like” him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google+.

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