The San Antonio Spurs are currently holding down the No.7 spot in the Western Conference, while most would argue that they have not displayed the same dominance and tenacity when compared to their 2013-14 NBA Championship season. Needless to say, the Spurs have always flew below the radar during the regular season while rising to the occasion during the playoffs. So why should this year be any different for the Spurs? Will this team awaken during the playoffs and defend their NBA title? The Sports Unbiased NBA team continues their 18 team playoff preview with the San Antonio Spurs.
Keith Rivas (NBA Writer): Age is by far the biggest determine factor on whether or not the defending champion Spurs will be back in action anytime soon.
While I’m sure it isn’t what the players or the fans wanted to hear about, it’s reality. But to go out on top with LeBron James & Co. as your last championship victim? Oh cmon, tell me that’s not the best way to end things.
Top teams like the Warriors and Hawks are depending on not just youthful positives and potential but also a fan base that has erupted.
Having to go up against young teams like Golden State and Los Angeles while having in-state rivals the Houston Rockets and the Dallas Mavericks all entering the playoff part of this season on a tear the Spurs will have to play above and beyond any level they’ve played at before to get a shot at another ring.
Jeb Taylor (NBA Contributor): The Spurs seemed to have to discovered the Fountain of Youth, winning last year’s championship with a majority of their key players 30+ years old. Now, that is coming back to haunt them. They are on the back end of the Western Conference playoff picture, so they’ll have to play a top-notch team first round. On Tuesday night, the defending champions were stunned by the God-awful Knicks, causing Coach Popovich to call it a ‘pathetic performance.’
Although they defied age and odds last year, the San Antonio Spurs will not have a chance to defend their crown — they might not even get out of the first round. For any chance to advance in the playoffs, the Spurs would need reigning Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard to supply the spark he hasn’t been able to all season.
Steve Turner (NBA Contributor): The San Antonio Spurs have not been having the best year after winning the championship last season. They are currently the 7th seed in the west with a record of 41-25, right behind the 7th seed Mavs. When it comes playoff time though, you cannot count this team out. The Spurs have an established team, with dominate players such as Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard. Although Kawhi isn’t having the dominate season everyone thought he would have, he still won Finals MVP against a Miami Heat team that made four consecutive championship appearances. The Spurs have exactly what it takes to go far in the NBA playoffs, and that is teammate chemistry.
There are only a few things that would worry me if I’m the Spurs. One of those worries is Ginobili spraining his ankle on Sunday versus the Timberwolves. Ginobili is expected to return in a week to 10 days, but that doesn’t mean he’ll be 100 percent healthy. Another concern for the Spurs is if they get matched up with the Portland Trail Blazers in the 1st round. In reality, all of the match ups in the Western Conference are going to be really tough. If the Spurs want to advance to the finals, they need to bring their best basketball. All of us basketball fans know the San Antonio Spurs are capable of that, you can’t count them out just yet.
Jr. Williams (NBA Editor): First let me say this — anyone who counts this team out of making a serious playoffs run is bat sh*t crazy. The Spurs are built for the postseason, that’s where they separate the men from the boys, so I wouldn’t get caught up in the regular season media scrutiny regarding Spurs. Gregg Popovich knows the right buttons to push to get his players in order.
Sure, health has been an issue for this team, but they still have a very formidable lineup featuring Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, Tony Parker, and Tim Duncan. The Spurs will of course lose regular season games to bum teams like the Knicks, but let me assure you, this team will be well rested and primed to defend their title. The only caveat against the Spurs is that they have NEVER won back-to-back NBA titles– this year could be their best and only chance to reverse the curse.