Sometimes you get to the court, ready to run fives, set to dominate…and see a graybeard lined up across from you, looking like he thinks he can actually play. You take one look at him and hope some competition shows up before sundown.
And then that old man beats you like a government mule.
It’s okay to admit it. It’s happened to all of us once or twice. On the court, “old man game” is that veteran savvy that leaves you wondering how the hell you just lost. And in the NBA, no one does old man game better than the Spurs.
Last night, San Antonio completed its sweep of the Grizzlies, winning 93-86 on the road behind 37 points from Tony Parker. They were out rebounded, had more turnovers, shot fewer free throws and made fewer threes. But they won, because that’s what they do.
The Spurs just don’t blink. In the Finals they’ll probably face Miami, a team with a certain young superstar athletic enough to run right through them (and anyone else in the world), yet smart enough to respect them. As victims of old man game ourselves—we won’t tell if you won’t—we’re not counting the Spurs out just yet.