I'm not usually one for Monday morning quarterbacking, but I'll make an exception here.
I've seen a lot of stuff on social media putting the blame (for not intentionally fouling at the end of Game 7 against Denver) on Coach Pop or the staff, and that's simply pointing to the wrong guy.
If 10-year olds are screaming at the TV to foul, LaMarcus Aldridge must know that you've gotta foul. Down 4 points with 28 seconds left, you must extend the game.
Coach Pop was visibly demonstrative trying to get that message across, and in the post game rehash, there was a lot of talk about LaMarcus and others not being able to hear Coach Pop because the noise was too loud.
Since when do you need a coach to tell you what you get paid $20 million a year to know. How do you brain lock that?
If that happens in high school, then it's on the coach. If it happens in college, then maybe it's 50/50, but you coach it in practice, so 20 year olds should know time, score and situation. But if it happens in the NBA, it's always, ALWAYS on the player. Okay, a rookie might get a pass, but not a 13-year veteran who's been an All-Star. It's so unacceptable that I can't stop thinking about what it was he was thinking. It's his job. A $20 million a year job. You don't need a coach to tell you to foul. You don't need to be able to hear or see him. You only need to know what you are paid to know - time, score, and situation.
And if you're making too much of it, that there's no may they could have won anyway. Probably.
And I hate to do this, but let me submit Exhibit A - Miami. Game 6 in 2013.
The Spurs led by 5 with 28 seconds left. Last night, when Denver got the rebound, they were up 4 with exactly 28 seconds left.
And we all know what happened with Ray Allen and the Heat. Unlikely, yes, but possible because the Spurs missed a couple of free throws. The Heat knew to extend the game. It happens. Not often, but it happens. And although he admitted his mistake afterwards, this one is on the shoulders of LaMarcus NOT Pop, and blaming anyone else is simply giving him a pass.
I know it is unfair to compare LaMarcus to Timmy or DeMar to Manu, but the truth is, to win a championship, you need a Batman. LeBron, Steph, KD, Tim, Manu. All Batmans.
And I've heard some toay say while Aldridge and DeRozan are All-Stars and great players, they are Robins. Robins need a Batman, and maybe in the future, DeJounte Murray is that guy, but for now, with no Batman, it's no wonder they couldn't beat The Joker.