Spurs still manage to fly under the radar
How do the Spurs always manage to fly under the radar? Every year, Pop figures a way out to get his team to win, and yet nobody really pays much attention to them. Tony Parker is playing nigh on MVP basketball, yet few would put him in the top ten of candidates. Tim Duncan is still doing his thing, and unlike many aging superstars, is willing to take a back seat, is actually able to acknowledge that his powers are in decline. Few players ever of his calibre have been able to do that. The one thing that has been holding them back is their health, but they appear to have gotten over that hump. They were active at the deadline, yet like usual they were largely ignored. Boris Diaw is no poor pickup and if anyone can get Stephen Jackson but to work Popovich can. Then they went ahead and signed promising young guard Patty Mills. Still they attracted little attention, with many preferring the young guns in Oklahoma over the veterans in San Antonio.
Now with Manu Ginobli back in the line-up, the Spurs are healthy. If they were able to win without their All-Star guard, one struggles to imagine that his return will be anything other than positive. And they run deep, once again something that is often ignored. People talk about the likes of Chicago and Philadelphia when they are talking about teams that run deep down the bench, yet rarely are the Spurs mentioned. With Bonner, Diaw, Mills, Jackson, Neal and Splitter are all quality players, all able to step up on a given night.
Also, somehow, despite remaining at the top of the standings for many years, they have managed to acquire some great youth. Tiago Splitter will be a great player one day, and Kawhi Leonard is starting in his rookie season. Patty Mills can also play and is a great backup off the bench. DeJuan Blair is starting at the center. Their stocks of young players are stronger than many teams who have had multiple high lottery picks. The Spurs haven’t missed the playoffs since Tim Duncan’s drafting 14 years ago and have won 3 championships with essentially this core. Don’t be surprised if they go deep into the playoffs this year and are right in the mix to win it all.
Posted on March 29, 2012, in San Antonio Spurs and tagged Australia, basketball, Gary Neal, Kawhi Leonard, Manu Ginobli, nba, Oklahoma City Thunder, San Antonio Spurs, Tim Duncan, Tony Parker. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.