Debate: Can the Spurs Contend This Year?

Mar 24, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker (9) talks trash after hitting a shot against the Houston Rockets during the second half at the Toyota Center. The Rockets won 96-95. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

I think that the Spurs are an amazing team, but are lacking in certain aspects of the game. Tiago Splitter isn’t a great center yet, and their big three are getting old, which actually cancels out all that experience they have. The Spurs, on the other hand, have a great coach, good veteran experience, and Kawhi Leonard, a future star.

Tim Duncan and Tony Parker would like to grab one of more NBA title, but unless they have more hype than they have right now, they won’t be able to do that. In the past couple of years, the Spurs haven’t done so well, being the 1st seed in the playoffs.

1. Age:

While some chose to look at this as a positive things in terms of being a veteran, I chose to look at it as negative in this case. The playoffs are closing in, which means these guys will have to play more than 82 games. We’re talking about Tim Duncan, a guy who didn’t even leave Texas for a full month one time this season. If the Spurs have to deal with the Lakers, that will add to the fatigue that they already have. Just like it has in the past couple of years, the fatigue will set in.

2. Team:

Don’t get me wrong, Tony Parker and Tim Duncan are, without a doubt, hall-of-famers, and have earned all-star positions this season. Manu Ginobli at 35, however, is getting poorer in his shot selection. He still uses his veteran moves, but sometimes, he just shoots the ball too much. Leonard, the Spurs’ small forward has a very bright future,  but he isn’t enough.

They don’t have great guards to back up Parker, and they never play Patrick Mills, even though he is fairly clever with the ball. Matt Bonner isn’t a true center, so it’s hard for Splitter to get a breather every now and then.

3. Fans:

When I say fans, I’m not saying that the Spurs have a small fan base, because that just wouldn’t be accurate. Fans in San Antonio are quiet and reserved, but the Spurs don’t lose much in the AT&T Center. In the playoffs, however, fans need to be more active and excited. I never see the Spurs fans doing that, and that could come back to bite them in the playoffs, where a team really does need their home crowd to get involved if they want to win the game.

Then again…

1. The Spurs are the Spurs:

Forget about playoff meltdowns for the moment. This is a team that is very experienced, knows when to strike, and will take advantage of any inexperienced team. They look likely to play the Lakers in the first round, and that’s not going to be very easy for them. They do, however, play very well at home, and have the veterans required to win it all.

2. Kawhi Leonard:

Leonard is a dynamic guard/forward, who is able to knock down threes and drive to the basket. He is the young life of the Spurs. When Parker or Duncan are feeling fatigued, and they will, Leonard is going to take over the game, but he cannot do simply what he is doing now. Come playoff time, Leonard really needs to step up his game to provide more scoring.

3. Greg Popovich:

We’re talking one of the best coaches of all-time here. Popovich is great with strategy and will help his guys in their times of need. When Duncan and Parker need breathers, they will be able to sit out, and Popovich will manage to find a way. Why they couldn’t do this last year in the playoff is beyond me, but if they want to contend this year, they need to utilize some young talent and go with the combination of veteran experience.

Verdict: The Spurs won’t contend, just because of the result of last year. They need to attack opponents with everything they’ve got, and Kawhi Leonard needs to pick up some slack.

 

Topics: Playoffs, San Antonio Spurs

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  • http://www.facebook.com/david.wolf.501 David Wolf

    Ill informed Warriors homer. Did you get this assigned at the last minute? Age? yeah..keep beating that drum. your Team analysis is so truncated and off the mark that I have to believe you didn’t want to write this. and you’ve clearly never been to the SBC Center during the playoffs. But why would you? Last time San Antonio faced Golden State in the playoffs was in ’91. but y’all did win that one so good on you for that series 22 years ago.

    • Tej Kamaraju

      the last two years indicate that the Spurs wont be winning the championship any time soon. their players are tired after 82 games. and why bring the Warriors into this? completely unrelated. We’ll see how they do this year

  • Juan

    Why the attack piece? I don’t even see the reason for this. Spurs don’t play GS for a little while, and no one is focusing on them at the moment. Your three reasons why the Spurs won’t make it are incorrect, and poorly argued at that.
    1. Kawhi Leonard (21 years old), Danny Green (25) and Tiago Splitter (28) are key components of the Spurs and are relied upon each night to perform. They certainly aren’t old. Sure the Spurs still go as Tony, Timmy and Manu take them, but they haven’t had to solely rely on them for a while now.
    2. What does this even mean? They’re a bad team? They lead the league in assists, and have been trusting their role players (Leonard, Green and Splitter) a lot more than last year. Their defensive efficiency has gone up from middle of the pack last year to top 5 now. They shortened their bench and have a legit 9 man rotation made up of the starters plus Manu, Stephen Jackson, Gary Neal and Boris Diaw. Cory Joseph has been a good replacement while Tony Parker was out injured and filled in admirably, providing good defense and a good handle on the ball.
    3. Spurs fans are used to winning. It’s hard to get them excited when they’ve reached the postseason 15 years in a row. They expect consistency and championships, not just playoff appearances.
    The playoff meltdowns were bad, but nearly every other team in the league would look at those outcomes as good seasons. Golden State hasn’t made it to the playoffs since 2006, and before that it was 1993. I think if they had made it to the Western Conference Finals, they would’ve been happy.

    • Tej Kamaraju

      Again, why are you bringing the Warriors into this? Stephen Jackson is old, Gary Neal is streaky, Boris Diaw has no offensive game, and Cory Joseph isn’t a great backup for Parker. This is why they collapse each year in the playoffs.

      • Juan

        …It’s a Warriors blog. Why bring the Spurs into it? I’m not trying to be mean, just providing honest criticism.

        Jackson is old for sure, Neal is pretty streaky, and Boris doesn’t like shooting. Joseph is a second year player, only just getting time this year, he didn’t have any impact on last year’s implosion. The big change this year is more intensity on the defensive side, a focus on contesting shots and shortening the bench. DeJuan Blair and Matt Bonner were big contributors last year. They barely get playing time nowadays. Coach Pop realized that his guys were getting gassed in the playoffs, and has given them more minutes as of late. Kawhi Leonard will average nearly 40 minutes a night, more than his 27 a game last year. Spurs didn’t collapse in ’99, ’03, ’05, ’07…

        • Tej Kamaraju

          Thanks for the comments. Totally agreed, and I like to write about the NBA in general, articles thatll spark interest.

          • Juan

            I understand. No harm done. I like writing about the NBA too, just had to defend my boys.

            Did you add the second three points after my comment, or did I not read them the first time? Just wondering.

          • Tej Kamaraju

            before, but i did change the title.