Spurs get back to the task of preparing for one last push for the title.
If the San Antonio Spurs are the ones to lift the Larry O’Brien Trophy this NBA season, the pivotal moment won’t be found on the court, but rather over a late-night meal.
San Antonio were on the cusp of celebrating their fifth title in 11 seasons, as they lead by five points with just 28 seconds left in Game 6 against the Miami Heat.
But that chance evaporated in front of their eyes as LeBron James and Ray Allen stepped up when their side needed them to send the game into overtime.
Many in attendance thought the Spurs would wrap up the title in regulation time with Heat fans leaving the arena and media were handed ballots for their votes on the Finals MVP – twice.
But those votes and fans will have to wait.
If the Spurs are to become the first road team in 35 years to win a deciding Game 7 in the NBA finals, the key will be their late-night meeting.
San Antonio leader Tim Duncan said it was better for the side not to dwell on the lost opportunity of winning the title in six games.
“It helped, it did,” Tim Duncan said of the late night meal.
“The other option is a bunch of us go back to our rooms and sit there by ourselves and beat yourself up. So it’s always good to be around teammates and kind of get some stuff out in the open. We did exactly that. As I said, we’ll be ready to rock.”
Another of the Spurs’ veterans Tony Parker said sharing experiences of losing games at the death, helped the playing group realise they could come back and win the final game of the entire season.
“We shared histories and what happened in different games, and sharing stuff like when I was with the (French) national team, when we were up 7 and lost in 35 seconds, the European Championship. You just share those moments and try to see what you can do better and prepare for Game 7,” Parker said.
If the Spurs are to pull off the nearly impossible they have the perfect coach to do it in Gregg Popovich.
Despite being criticised for for several decisions last start, Popovich has the wisdom and experience necessary that if the final 30 seconds tonight is a carbon copy of Game 6, he will know exactly which reign to pull.