If they lose to Memphis, does that make the 2010/2011 Spurs "choke artists"? Or if the Spurs are merely a victim of a particularly bad match-up, what does that make the 2006/2007 Mavericks?
This psychological based analysis of basketball comes from a place deep within American culture. We like to believe in the power of the individual, that hard work and skill determine our success in life.
So when we look at the Spurs and the Mavericks playoff performance, we want to believe that the players are in control of their own destiny: that if only the Mavericks players were tougher, they would have already won a championship. That the Spurs success is a result of the no-nonsense ethic of team-work they built, not because they had a seven-foot Hall of Famer in the middle of the lane.