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The State of the Spurs Address

 

The San Antonio Spurs were arguably the best team of the past decade. From the initial days of the Western version of the “Twin Towers” with the youngster Tim Duncan and David Robinson to the evolution into the perfect mesh of American and European studs, the Spurs found ways to win four championships in eight years. The team seemed to always be the favorite going into nearly every season from 2003-2008, but, when they were defeated by the resurgent Los Angeles Lakers in the 2008 Western Conference Finals, the perspective on this dynasty quickly began to change. The 2009 season was a year for the Spurs that nobody had seen from them in a long time. They entered the bracket as the #3 seed in the West and were eliminated in the first round of the NBA Playoffs by the Dallas Mavericks, the conference's sixth seed. Questions ran rampant about whether the Spurs have aged too much or whether the rest of the NBA has gotten that much better. The one thing that remained constant was the outstanding coaching of Gregg Popovich, but the doubt in his players was growing too rapidly, and a change was needed.

 

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Then came the acquistion of Richard Jefferson, the former small forward for the New Jersey Nets and Milwaukee Bucks. Jefferson is a player right smack in the middle of his prime, and he was acquired with open arms for aging players like Bruce Bowen, Kurt Thomas, and Fabricio Oberto. As if this was not enough depth for the team, the Spurs also nabbed one of the biggest steals of the 2009 NBA Draft with the 37 th pick, Pittsburgh's DeJaun Blair. Also, the Spurs added Antonio McDyess to the roster prior to this season. This is a guy playing through his last years, but he is a solid veteran who can still play important minutes and have an impact on any given game. With all of these moves devised by the Spurs front office, many believed that the Spurs were back. I, personally, thought they would be the second best team in the Western Conference this season behind the defending champs. I thought the world would be treated to a rematch of that 2008 Western Conference Finals series, and we may indeed get to see it. The only problem is that it could take place in the first round of the playoffs.

 

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The San Antonio Spurs currently sit at 46-29, good enough for seventh place in the super-stacked Western Conference. The Portland Trailblazers are just a half of a game behind them in the standings, yet the Spurs are just 3.5 games behind the Dallas Mavericks, the second-best team in the West. Theoretically, the Spurs could still grab the #2 seed before the regular season is all set and done, but that is doubtful. So the question after all of this is the following: Do the Spurs have what it takes? The answer: Nobody really knows. This team is extremely deep with proven winners like Parker, Duncan, and Ginobili, the “big three”. Richard Jefferson brings them a shot of youth, athleticism, and explosiveness that was not a staple for their four championship teams. Very good contributors like George Hill, Roger Mason, Matt Bonner, Keith Bogans, Blair, and McDyess further add to the freakish depth of this team. The Spurs have not always shown their true colors in the regular season, and that is especially true for this year with their number of injuries. However, playoff time is right around the corner, and the Spurs seem to be getting in the correct mindset. I only have one message for Spurs fans: Pray that your team avoids a first round meeting with the Lakers, because if they do, Coach Pop and the boys have the potential to give you a very exciting playoff run (especially if they find themselves in another showdown with the Phoenix Suns *crosses fingers*).

 

By: Steven Barile
Pro Basketball Fans Staff Writer


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