Originally written April 30, 2013 on isportsweb.com:
People assume that teams are more than capable of taking down the “washed up” Spurs.  But hold on a second.  Do people really fully understand the San Antonio Spurs?  The Spurs aren’t your ordinary NBA franchise.  This organization was built to succeed.  The Los Angeles Lakers battled so hard at the end of the season.  They gutted out the last few games of the season but their late playoff push was ultimately all for nothing. Led by Tony Parker and Tim Duncan, the Spurs are a team that can strike at any given time.  Gregg Popovich will outsmart every other coach in the league.  The Spurs will fool teams by making them believe they don’t have it in them anymore when, in fact, they do.  Duncan, Parker, and Ginobili have that winning DNA and they somehow transport it to every other player that is on the roster. Yeah, the Lakers were missing Kobe Bryant and a healthy Steve Nash in the playoffs.  But come on, now.  The Lakers would have had a slight chance to knock off the Spurs with Kobe.  They wouldn’t have just elevated their game to a whole new level right when the playoffs started.  Kobe wouldn’t have led that team past the Spurs because Duncan is a much better player than Howard.  In this day and age, Parker is much better than a totaled Steve Nash. The Spurs were probably preparing for the second round in the middle of the first round series.  In the second round, they will face the winner between the Warriors and the Nuggets.  Right now, it looks like it’s going to be the Warriors.  Don’t get me wrong.  Golden State is playing tremendous basketball.  However, the Nuggets are allowing them to play tremendous basketball.  The Spurs certainly would not permit that nonsense. San Antonio is consistent on the defensive end.  They would slow down the game and force the Warriors to play more of a half court offense.  The problem there is that the Warriors can’t do that.  The Warriors are striving right now because the Nuggets also love to run.  The Spurs are perfectly capable of executing the fast break if they need to.  However, they like to slow down teams with their gritty defense and well-organized offense. As you can tell from the points I have made above, the Spurs should take another trip to the Western Conference Finals.  They may not even have to play OKC again because the Thunder might have a hard time getting there without Westbrook.  With that said, Westbrook was a huge part of the Thunder’s victory over the Spurs in last year’s Western Conference Finals.  So if they do face the Thunder, not having to deal with Russell Westbrook would be a gift to the Spurs. Don’t ever count out the San Antonio Spurs.  Just take a look at their fine history.  Whenever they lose, it isn’t because Gregg Popovich doesn’t know what he’s doing.  It is simply because teams just get outplayed sometimes.  Don’t be surprised if the Spurs play on the other side of the battle this time around.
PLAYERS: Tony Parker
TEAMS: San Antonio Spurs
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