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May 21, 2005

20-Second Timeout: Moving On

The Spurs showed their true colors (Silver and Black...not black and blue) in the Western Conference semifinals.

Despite a Seattle defense that was extremely physical, the Spurs avoided any altercations, picked themselves up after hard and flagrant fouls, and simply played the game. There are many other teams in the league that would have lost their composure, retaliated with pushing, shoving or punching, and cost their team a chance to win a game or series.

The Spurs also avoided the war of words that some Sonics decided to engage in...Danny Fortson badmouthed the city of San Antonio, Ray Allen complained about Bruce Bowen's defense before the series even began, and Jerome James said he didn't respect Tim Duncan. It would have been easy for the Spurs to get caught up in all of that. They didn't, and that's why they're in the Western Conference finals, and the Sonics are arranging tee times.


Bowen's defense is a key reason why the Spurs are in the Western Conference Finals.
(Chris Birk/NBAE/Getty)
It seems the best retaliation for misplaced and ill-advised commentaries by the opponent is to outplay them on the floor, congratulate them for a good series, and move on. There's no better comeback than to simply look at the scoreboard.

The Sonics are a tough team that played a good series and overcame some difficult injuries, but perhaps they learned from the Spurs the best way to conduct yourself during the postseason. A difficult lesson, but one that needed to be taught.