It seems every year come playoff time San Antonio is forgotten about until they beat a contending team and everyone remembers how good they are. Nothing seems to be changing on that front; the Spurs currently sit in second place in the Western Conference and are only a half game back of the league best Thunder. Going into the playoffs without a lot of attention has become a habit for the Spurs and they like it that way and that is why this year the Spurs could be poised for one more title run.
Last night the Spurs got a rematch of the 2013 Finals when they faced off against the defending champion Heat. The Spurs won that game by a score of 111-87 with a great 23 point 11 rebound game from their aging leader Tim Duncan. They were also able to hold LeBron James below 20 points, which is a nearly impossible feat. Of course a regular season game in March is not the same as a finals game, but never the less the Spurs showed they are still able to hang with the far more athletic Heat.
Last years finals loss to the Heat will forever be burned into the memories of anyone on that Spurs team and that could very well be the driving force for them to make another run at the title. It had to be so painful for Tim Duncan to watch from the bench in game six as Chris Bosh grabbed the offensive rebound that led to Ray Allen’s now infamous three pointer that tied the game. Duncan is one of the greatest players in NBA history and having a title ripped away from him like that had to be extremely heartbreaking. Because of that it will be a surprise to no one when Duncan inevitably comes out and plays like he did in his MVP days and takes the Spurs back to the finals. After all Duncan has nothing left to prove to anyone in the league and he knows that this could very well be his last chance at a title.
Spurs coach Greg Popovich made some comments earlier this week saying that sometimes during timeouts he has no plays to call or nothing to say to his players. This caused uproar in the sports media world, as many could not believe he would admit something like this to the public. Popovich has the luxury of having a core group that he has already won titles with and this only goes to show how confident he is in his own players. Not many other coaches could get away with saying nothing during a timeout in a close game but when you have Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobli and Tony Parker who have played together for ten years nothing really needs to be said because they understand each other so well.
Whether anyone sees it coming or not the Spurs are poised for another title run. With their talent, experience and consistency it is hard to see any team knocking them off before at least the Western Conference finals. The heartbreak of last years finals will only help fuel them to try to get back to that point this year.
Commentary By Max Petkevicius