The San Antonio Spurs have done it again, and are now just about everyone’s pick to win next season’s NBA title. With good reason. LaMarcus Aldridge, is unquestionably the biggest free agent catch of the offseason, and is at worst the second best power forward in the game. Anthony Davis, being the only one better. Teaming up with Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Kawhi Leonard, and Greg Popovich will certainly be impressive. But, in the words of ESPN College GameDay personality, Lee Corso, not so fast my friends.
First off, let me say that this should be an incredible team, and they’re no doubt one of the favorites to hoist the Larry O’Brien Trophy. There are a couple of things that might have gotten ignored about the San Antonio Spurs’ uncharacteristically early exit from this past season’s playoffs. Why were they ignored? Well, because they’re the San Antonio Spurs.
Tired Spurs made Clippers better
Spurs vs Clippers turned out to be the best series of the entire playoffs. Unfortunately, it was in the very first round. But, let’s be real. While, the Clips played well and did what they had to do in that series, the Spurs were injured and more importantly, they were tired. A fresher, healthier Spurs team beats the Clippers in six games or less. Unfortunately for Spurs fans, we saw the alternative to that. Parker, Duncan, Ginobili, and Diaw are getting no younger. Sure, Aldridge and the also newly acquired, David West will give major assistance to Duncan. But, will Patty Mills and Ray McCallum (newly acquired from Sacramento Kings) be able to adequately supplement Parker? Probably so. But, there are no guarantees. Even with Parker, the Spurs are thinner at guard than they’ve ever been. They’ve just lost Marco Belineli, and who knows how much you can count on a player like Ginóbili. Chasing Steph Curry, Klay Thompson , James Harden, Russell Westbrook , Chris Paul, and so on and so on takes its toll. Do the Spurs have enough? Questionable at best.
The Wild Wild West could be even Wilder
Parker’s injuries were well documented. So, were Ginobili’s. But, it’s not inconceivable to think that the run to secure a top four seed and homecourt advantage in the West, a failed run I might add, by season’s end contributed to those injuries. Parker’s especially. Never, at any time during this run over the last few years have the Spurs had to expend so much energy to end the season. Popovich, loves to rest his regulars. Especially, his older ones. In the loaded Western Conference, he didn’t have that luxury in 2015. The Golden State Warriors aren’t going anywhere. Kevin Durant will be back. The Houston Rockets, Clippers (with DeAndre Jordan coming to his senses and back to L.A.), and Memphis Grizzlies are all factors, as well. Even with Aldridge, it won’t be easy in 2016 either.
Still Tony Parker’s team
Securing a player like Aldridge is fairly unchartered waters for the Spurs. Sure, they’ve made great moves in the past, by reeling in players that haven’t necessarily fit with other teams, and making them fit into their system. The Spurs have made a living off of doing that. Danny Green, who re-signed last week, is a perfect example of that. But, never have they reeled in a player like Aldridge in free agency. With that said, the Spurs are still about Parker and Duncan. Parker, especially so. How he goes, so go the Spurs. If he’s healthy, the Spurs could very well get out of the West and then beat a team like the Cleveland Cavaliers. Bringing a sixth NBA title to The Alamo. Then, there’s the alternative. Just as it was this past season.
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