Should the Spurs’ Age Factor Affect Your NBA Picks This Season?

David Lawrence

Thursday, October 16, 2014 3:01 PM GMT

Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014 3:01 PM GMT

The San Antonio Spurs were supposed to have been defeated by age and the sands of time before the 2013-14 season started. Yet, they defied the NBA odds and won the NBA title. What will happen this year?

Reasons Why Age Will Be A Factor
The San Antonio Spurs defied age last season, but you know that it’s going to catch up with them at some point. Nobody can be fully sure of when it will happen, but it’s going to. Nothing lasts forever. It’s essential to realize that the Spurs were powerfully motivated last season. The old players on the team wanted that title so badly that the younger players recognized how much it meant to Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker to get the job done. Everyone on the team pitched in, and the old guys played with such focus that the Spurs displayed their very best basketball from start to finish with very few exceptions. The team overcame injuries to Kawhi Leonard and Parker at different points in the season, and Duncan was the hero of Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Oklahoma City. Are all those kinds of things going to happen again this season? It would be more surprising if age did not harm the Spurs this season. The likelihood is that it’s going to jump up and bite this team near the end of the line. All the pieces fell into place for San Antonio, and any championship team needs that to happen. Are the Spurs really going to make a third straight NBA Finals at their advanced age? When thinking about your NBA picks its worth noting the cumulative strain of past seasons – not just playing two straight long seasons, but now being faced with making it three long seasons in a row – could be the thing that sabotages this season for the Spurs.

 

Reasons Why Age Won't Be A Factor
The San Antonio Spurs already showed how little age can mean, even after the long and exhausting 2013 season, a point at which Manu Ginobili seemed to be on the very last legs of his great career. At the end of the 2014 season, Ginobili might not have been a new man – that might be exaggerating – but he was certainly a lot fitter and fresher than he was a year earlier. The Spurs did a great job of handling the stresses and pressures of the season, including their older guys, with Tim Duncan remaining ageless. Yet, a big part of the Spurs’ formula was and is their deep bench. This is a team with a lot of options. Boris Diaw fills one need. Leonard fills another. Tiago Splitter has become a reliable center. Danny Green shoots threes and plays effective perimeter defense. Patty Mills backs up Parker at the point with aplomb. There’s always another guy to step in and relieve pressure from the starter without much of a drop-off in production. The Spurs can withstand the long road trips and the back-to-back games that are part of the regular season. They didn’t wilt last year, so why would they do so now? It just doesn’t add up – this team’s not yet ready to fade away. It’s probably going to be a two-year window in which this team can still cash on the NBA odds and win the NBA

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