The last time I heard the word “copacetic” was back in the day, and a fried-to-the-crisp pal of mine was describing his experience at an Emerson, Lake & Palmer/ Procol Harum/ King Crimson triple bill.
“Like, man, it was sooooo copacetic.”
That Greg Popovich, the genius coach of the reigning World Champion Spurs, used it twice in the last week — without the prefatory “like” or “man” — is as good a representation as any of just how old school this team’s mind set is.
The second usage came after his exquisite basketball team blasted Miami in Game 4 of the title series, putting them on the brink of the franchise’s 5th title. Pop, to the media, “Well, if you shoot  percent, you’re in pretty good shape, as long as everything else is copacetic.”
Of course, the coach is increasingly famous for being more perfunctory than loquacious during those idiotic in-game Q & As.
When Doris Burke asked him before the 2d half began last night, what specifically it would take to continue his team’s success, Pop, without any Billy Clyde Gillispie ‘tude but terse as usual, stated, “Good defense.” Then he turned to get back to the task at hand.
That we are talking about Pop’s affectations in the wake of the Spurs’ smackdown underscores that there’s just not much more to say. The stories are legion of the team’s fortitude, patience, quiet revenge, perseverance, unselfishness, offensive and defensive excellence, etc.
There just don’t seem to be any more creative ways to herald the new champs.1
* * * * *
In the clincer, San Antonio hit only 47% and was outrebounded.
But, you know, like, man, everything else was, you know, dude, copacetic.
Except, of course, at the very start when the Spurs missed 11 of their first 12 shots, allowing the Heat, playing like they’d snorted eightballs right before tip off, jammed off to a 22-6 advantage.
At the end of the first, the visitors, by then already hanging on by a fingernail, still led by 7. LeBron James, playing like the proverbial man possessed, tallied 17 points and grabbed six boards.2
Miami still led by ten at a 4:27 stoppage in the first quarter. Out of the timeout, MVP Kawhi Leonard drained a trey, followed by another launched by Patty Mills, ending a 12-0 SA run, which spelled doom for Miami’s hopes for a threepeat.
Miami tried to kick San Antonio’s Uncle Mo out of the building, by calling timeout several times in the second.
It didn’t work.
It didn’t work because the Spurs were simply ready. After one of those stoppages, they drew an offensive foul from Ray Allen. After the next, they did the same with Dwayne Wade.
Meanwhile, during that interlude, the Spurs scored 14 straight, during which streak they grabbed the lead on fast break, straight away, stop and fire 3 from that Leonard kid. Which was followed by Ginobili reverse layup.
San Antonio did not relinquish the lead.
* * * * *
If you are a true hoopaholic, you know, somebody who pays your TV service provider for the package bringing you an extra 50 or so games a week during the college hoops season; if you’re one of those, you know who Patty Mills is.
Because on some Thursday night in the past, when you should have gone to bed already, because you had a big meeting with your boss in the a.m. and you weren’t really prepared yet, and you know you had to arise early to do so, you still said to yourself, “Just one more half of hoops, then I’ll turn off the telly.”
And you proceeded to watch Gonzaga vs. St. Mary’s in a West Coast Conference clash. During which you noticed that tubby little PG from Australia named Patty Mills, toiling for the Gaels.
Well, the guy who used to be Peppermint Patty has morphed into a pepper pot and is as good an example why the Spurs reign again as any. Mills, now svelt and a scorcher, scored 17 last evening off the bench, hitting 5/8 from the Alamo.
Including two of the three long range bazooka shots late in the third, giving SA its first 20+ lead at 65-44.
At which point, the crowd was truly delirious. Like, you know, the Freedom Hall finale, when U of L was dismantling #1 Syracuse, and the Cardinal nation made so much noise you feared the old gym might crumble right then and there.
* * * * *
The metaphor for Miami.
Greg Oden, inactive, sitting, as usual, in street clothes, watching the action from the row behind the bench.
Pat Riley brought in He Who Has Always Been Injured before the season to give support to “The Big Three.” An act of desperation, that.
They had none this series.
The Spurs reserves outscored their counterparts 47-24 last night. Even those numbers are deceiving. 19 of those Heat bench points came from Beasley, Chalmers and Coles during garbage time late.
When Duncan and company were hugging and smiling and celebrating on the bench as the clock wound down on the Miami “dynasty.”
San Antonio is King. Long live the King.
— Seedy K