World Peace: Pop could win with old ladies
by Sam Amick, USA TODAY Sports
As always, Metta World Peace wasn’t afraid to talk tough.
He talked about the underachieving Los Angeles Lakers as possible NBA champions, ignoring the fact that a seventh-seed has never won it all and deducing that “If a man can go to the moon, we can do it.”
But as for this widely-held assumption that they wanted to face the ailing San Antonio Spurs, that they saw this oldie-but-goodie team as vulnerable and thus fought even harder to outlast the Houston Rockets in that overtime game on Wednesday that secured this matchup and got them out of facing top-seed Oklahoma City? That’s where the boasting came to an end.
“No, no no no no no,” World Peace blubbered, his head shaking and eyebrows raised. “Not when you’ve got (Spurs coach Gregg) Popovich – uh uh uh uh uh. He’s amazing. That coach is something else. I just know he draws up plays where he could have five old ladies after they eat 14 boxes of chocolate chip cookies. He’ll put them on the court, and they’ll win. That’s how good Popovich is.”
Popovich may not be that good, but World Peace is wise to respect the Spurs. As they’ve proven so many times before, not only when they were winning four championships between 1999 and 2007 but in the past six seasons in which they averaged almost 55 wins, they should never be counted out too early.
Still, the latest version was more than mediocre enough down the stretch to add intrigue to a series that would have been seen as a snoozer just a few weeks ago.
The Spurs were atop the Western Conference back then, peaking with a home win vs. Chicago on March 6 that gave them a 48-14 record before the injury-induced decline ensued. Point guard Tony Parker went down with an ankle injury and missed 12 games in all, super sub Manu Ginobili suffered a hamstring injury and missed nine games, then small forward Boris Diaw was lost for the season in early April when he needed back surgery. Since that high point, the Spurs split their last 20 … [For more on World Peace says Popovich could coach old ladies to wins, click here.]