Don’t forget the San Antonio Spurs
Is anyone around the NBA world talking about the San Antonio Spurs? Probably most NBA fans and analysts prefer to discuss the huge performances from Kevin Durant, the surge the Indiana Pacers are showing or whether or not the Miami Heat will be able to three-peat. Even the Los Angeles Lakers and the Cleveland Cavaliers are currently drawing more interest than the San Antonio Spurs. That’s no big of an issue. We’ve seen that before. Who really counted the Spurs in for the NBA Finals last season, prior to the start of the playoffs?
Nonetheless, the Spurs shouldn’t be forgetter or neglected. Why? Cause they rank amongst the top championship contenders this season and that’s how they should be treated.
It’s notable that San Antonio currently ranks second in the tough Western Conference and yet very few times are they mentioned in NBA discussions. At the same time, teams like the Portland Trail Blazers, the Phoenix Suns and the Los Angeles Clippers draw much more interest, as if they stood more odds to win the Larry O’Brien trophy.
Of course, Gregg Popovich’s group is now accustomed to winning and also to retaining a solid course in the season. However, this is far from easy. The Spurs have not been playing their best basketball and they still rank second in the West, just three games behind the Oklahoma City Thunder. San Antonio’s defense has loosened up a big this season, currently ranking fifth in the league. The offense of the team is not surging either, ranking 10th in the NBA. Consecutive losses against the best teams of the league, like the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Miami Heat and the Indiana Pacers have also forced lots of analysts to throw the Spurs out of the championship discussion.
Nonetheless, it’s significant that the Spurs have managed to retain a great course in the 2013-2014 campaign despite the fact that several core members of the team experienced injuries. Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, Tiago Splitter and now Manu Ginobili all missed significant time.
Hopefully, Gregg Popovich will have all his weapons available for the postseason. In fact, the Spurs should have their complete roster available way before then. Will they be able to show their true potential and prove that they can protagonist in the Western Conference during the playoffs, for yet another season?
Although San Antonio is flying under the radar at the moment, the have two elements in their game, which are essential for any team during the postseason.
The first one is veteran experience. The Big Three, Tony Parker, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili have as much playoff experience as arguably any other team they will face in total. This might sound like a non-factor right now, but when the game is on the line, when it matters the most, this experience, the naturalism that things flow during the game is one big factor that can give the Spurs the victory.
The other one is defense. Defense wins championships and that has been proven numerous times in the history of the league. Gregg Popovich is a defensive guru and we can expect the Spurs to tighten things up as we get closer to the postseason.