San Antonio 114, Houston 75.

And the Spurs, without their MVP candidate available, and without Tony Parker, puddle jumped across Texas with every basketball fan in America expecting them to then  turn that bird right around and hope like hell that Kawhi Leonard was healthy enough for Game 7 at home.

Instead, Pop’s boys went into the Rockets’ house, laid an unmerciful beating on them, leaving the paramedics to sort through the wreckage after one of the most shocking 39-point bludgeoning’s you will ever see.

And chisel another line onto the legend of Gregg freaking Popovich. Because the best coach in basketball just punked Mike D’Antoni. Blind-folded. With one-arm tied behind his back. Snatched his lunch money and sent him running home to mom.

An incredible performance by the Spurs, who morphed into another team on the fly, pounding the Rockets into submission. And they did it by riding LaMarcus Aldridge.  The same LaMarcus Aldridge, who inexplicably looking nothing like himself in a poor Game 1. But he was a monster last night, going for 34 and 12,… and pretty much has been since the second Kawhi went down..

Again, it’s a tribute to Pop. The guy is a freaking wizard. And did it with a team that looked like it might get run right out of this series after a Game 1 blowout. One thing to find a way to survive and rip Game 5 after losing Kawhi Leonard, quite another to roll out the crew he went with and humiliate the Rockets in their own house in an elimination game.

Look who he was riding with! Four second round picks. Four undrafted players. Two homegrown guys drafted at the bottom of the first round. And a couple of once great, really old dudes — Manu and Pau. Plus LaMarcus Aldridge, — a guy who I think is still waiting for Jimmy Buss to start his Lakers free agent pitch. And they smashed Houston.

That’s a coach. That’s a franchise architect. And that’s why Pop is who he is: the very best in his sport, and maybe the best in any sport. Dismantling a Rockets offense that short-circuited before our eyes, putting some kinda voodoo on the Beard, and hitting the detonator on a Houston season and never even looking back to see the carnage.

Gregg Freaking Popovich. Nobody better. And it’s Spurs – Warriors in the Western Conference Finals. The Spurs definitely don’t have the firepower to hang with Golden State. But they did just prove once again, sleeping on them is a big mistake. Go ahead and buy those zombies in Spurs’ gamers but do so at your own risk. Because you don’t bet against the house and you don’t bet against Pop. And Pop might just go down as the best there ever was. And Spurs’ performance last night was every bit as spectacular as the Rockets was horrible.

 

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