It was a clash of conference titans when the San Antonio Spurs met the Indiana Pacers on Monday night. Each team had much to prove coming into the game, but it was the Spurs and their winning streak that prevailed.
Coming in, the Pacers had lost five of their last six games were looking to cling onto their first-place spot that has now disappeared. The Spurs have methodically dissected each opponent during their win streak, and they did not change the script in a possible preview of the NBA Finals. It was Tony Parker and his offensive maneuvers that sparked San Antonio to victory.
Parker was 10-of-18 shooting and finished with a team-high 22 points. There were glimpses of a younger Parker on the court versus the Pacers as he slid in and out of traffic with ease. He and his fellow teammates looked refreshed and did not seem to be slowing down one bit.
On a more impressive note, the Spurs’ defense protected the paint very well. Boris Diaw and the rest of the Spurs’ frontcourt frustrated Indiana’s big men all night. The Pacers shot a disappointing 37.7 percent from the field.
The implication of this loss may have more repercussions than seen at first glance. Granted, the win will go down in the history books as the Spurs’ franchise-record 18th win, but it may have set a crash course for an NBA Finals repeat with the Miami Heat.
With the Pacers loss and a Heat victory, Miami now controls the first place spot in the East and may take home-court advantage in the playoffs if everything continues as expected. A rematch of one of the greatest playoff series in NBA history would be one for the ages.
Regardless of whom the Spurs may face in a Finals showdown, they will continue to effortlessly handle their opponents with surgical precision and methodical attack.