The San Antonio Spurs are coming off a season in which they put all the pieces of the puzzle together. Everything fit just right and they cashed on the NBA odds. What could happen this season? Here are the three scenarios we could see:
1. The Spurs Win It All… Again
A year ago at this time, just how many people took the Spurs to win the whole thing as their NBA picks? Not many. The conventional wisdom was that the Spurs were too old and had missed their window. Instead, they maxed out and played as well as they ever have. Coach Gregg Popovich is so good at getting the most out of his roster, and what’s important to note is that he gives plenty of rest to his older stars during the regular season. He has not been afraid to sit them down for full games before back-to-back sets or in other spots when he thinks they just need a rest. Tim Duncan averaged 29.2 minutes and played 74 games. Tony Parker played 29.4 minutes in 68 games. Manu Ginobili also only played 68 games.
The other players on the roster, such as Patty Mills, Cory Joseph and Tiago Splitter are good enough to play extended minutes in a regular season game every now and then, managing to win the game and give the Spurs 60 wins or so during the season. The stars are then rested for the playoffs and are ready to play their very best. This team can do it one more time, for sure. That’s why they’re at 4/1 on the NBA odds to win it all again.
2. The Spurs Make The Second Round Of The Playoffs But Fizzle
This is a very realistic scenario for the Spurs. San Antonio has plenty of talent and diversity in its lineup, but this team has put in a lot of work over the past two seasons to make the climb from being “almost there” to the top of the NBA. The San Antonio Spurs played a full-length playoff schedule in 2013 when they made their way to Game 7 of the NBA Finals against the Miami Heat. They then played through the Finals again in 2014. That’s a lot of accumulated basketball over two seasons. The Spurs could be fresh and ready to make the big push once again, but what if they finally get tired and wear down? You know it’s going to happen at some point. Would it really be all that surprising if this team becomes sluggish around the 65-game mark of this season, barely gets out of the first round, and then is finished off by the Los Angeles Clippers or the Dallas Mavericks in the second round? It shouldn’t be.
3. Missing The Playoffs
This is not the foremost scenario for the team but just imagine what might happen if the old bodies on this team finally hit a wall and, at least in two or three cases, crack. You’ve seen Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili deal with minor to modest injuries over the past few seasons, causing them to miss several weeks. What if those minor to modest injuries become severe injuries that result in the missing of a whole season, such as four or more months? If that happens, then you’ll see this team struggle, especially if Parker is the one sidelined for that extended amount of time.
The other concern is two-fold: the Western Conference is very tough and the Spurs just might not be that hungry. When making your NBA picks keep in mind it’ll take 50 wins to make the playoffs and while the Spurs are typically a lock for that, who knows how invested they’ll be after getting the ultimate prize last season. If injuries factor and they just don’t want it as much, they could miss the playoffs.