Saturday, April 30, 2011
Spurs join Mavs in first-round infamy
By Jeff Caplan
Jason Terry was right. The Mavericks did catch the Spurs, it's just not how Terry had envisioned.
The Mavs' sixth man thought the two rivals might eventually meet once again in a rugged postseason showdown. That won't be case after the Zach Randolph-led Memphis Grizzlies deposited the aging Spurs into the offseason far earlier than anyone expected. Memphis won its first-ever playoff series with a 99-91 Game 6 win Friday night.
The No. 1 seed Spurs, having won 61 games and led the Western Conference wire-to-wire, join the Mavs in playoff infamy as the only teams beaten by a No. 8 seed since the first round expanded to a best-of-7 series in 2003. San Antonio is the fourth No. 1 overall defeated by a No. 8. Of course, the Golden State Warriors upended the 67-win Mavs in six games in 2007.
Afterward, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, owner of four championship rings, wasn't ready to discuss what lies ahead for one of the NBA's model franchises. But, he did keep his sense of humor.
"We just lost in the first round. I'm not going to talk about overhauls," he said. "I'm going to get a bite to eat and have a Gatorade. Anybody else [with a question] before the happy comes in?"
Dallas, meanwhile, has moved onto the second round and a date with the Los Angeles Lakers, remarkably the first playoff series between these two clubs since 1988. That series begins Monday night in L.A.