Are The Spurs Done Out West?
Are The Spurs Done Out West?
As we approach the All-Star break, San Antonio is seven games back from rival Dallas in the Southwest Division standings and it appears that the Mavs aren’t the only team that may have passed them by. Phoenix’s banner first-half has the Suns also well in front of the Spurs in the Western Conference. Recently, the Spurs have hit a rough patch, by their standards, losing five of their last 10 games. So we ask ourselves, are the Spurs done out west?
San Antonio has been the closest thing to an NBA dynasty since the Lakers’ run of three straight winning two of the last four NBA Championships. But with Dallas leapfrogging the Spurs last season and with a decisive lead early on in the division, we have to wonder if San Antonio’s time in the sun is over.
I’m not so quick to think so. Last season, the Heat were “sandbagging” you could say. They even did it the year before but came up a little short, probably because of Dwayne Wade’s injury in the playoffs. I believe Mr. Duncan was battling a bad foot injury for the Spurs all of last season.
We’ll even look at the Lakers. When they won the championship in 2000, they were out for history and had 67 wins. The next two seasons, they just coasted through the regular season before turning it on in the playoffs. Veteran teams have a tendency to be a little disinterested in the regular season. When you are eight to 10 years into your career, a regular season game on a Wednesday night against a mediocre opponent is hard to get up for. San Antonio has been consistently around the 60 win mark and even under that number one of the most recent two years it won the NBA Finals. How can we tell how this team will be in the playoffs? Look at the Spurs in the games they do get up for against quality opponents.
The Spurs are 1-2 against Dallas this season with each team getting its wins on the other teams home floor. All 3 of these games have been close with San Antonio winning by six in the first meeting and losing by three and five in the next two. The Spurs have also split with the Suns this season. Again, winning the first meeting and losing the most recent one. Isn’t it odd that the Spurs beat the Western Conference leaders in each of their first meetings this season? Perhaps, San Antonio knows what it takes to win and is doing a little sandbagging of its own. Perhaps, the veterans are conserving a little energy heading into All-Star weekend thus the recent slide. Or perhaps, the Spurs simply aren’t as good as Dallas and Phoenix and the course of the NBA season will show it. I’m not ready to buy my last statement. This is an experienced Spurs team which knows how to play together and knows how to win in the postseason. Even if the Spurs lose to Phoenix in their last meeting on April 5th and lose to the Mavs on April 15th, they are still a team to be reckoned with in the postseason I can assure you.