Last season: 62-20, 1st Southwest Division (1st Western Conference), Won NBA Finals over MIA (4-1)
Draft Picks: F Kyle Anderson (UCLA, 30th overall), G Nemanja Dangubic (Serbia, 54th overall)
Burning Question: How does San Antonio stay motivated after thrashing Miami in last year’s Finals?
Easy answer, they are treading in uncharted territory. For the first time since 2008, they have a chance to shed the “every other year” label and finally capture back-to-back championships.
As they near the end, Gregg Popovich, Tim Duncan and co. want to cement their legacy by winning once again.
Basketball is an art form. It’s beautiful, it’s pure…the perfect blend of cohesion, craftsmanship, and working towards a common goal.
In last year’s Finals, the San Antonio Spurs showed the success you can have when playing basketball the right way. This is no shot at the Miami Heat or any sort of “Super Team” from the past, the Spurs just showed why incredible ball movement, execution and chemistry is always the best recipe for winning it all.
And with the entire roster back for another go round, San Antonio might win the Finals in consecutive years for the first time in team history. Coach Gregg Popovich returns to a group led by Tim Duncan (best power forward of all-time), Manu Ginobili (best international guard of all-time?), Tony Parker (best Frenchman of all-time) and, now, Kawhi Leonard.
They are primed to capture another Division title and challenge for another World title in the process.
It’s too easy to list the many reasons why the Spurs can/will/should win the Championship in 2015, so let’s explore why they might come up short instead.
- The core finally plays old- On opening night, Duncan, Parker and Ginobili will be a combined age of 107 years old. As each season goes by, it grows more and more likely that the Big 3 might struggle to stay healthy and play at an elite level. Will 2015 the year that Father Time finally dooms this talented trio?
- Kawhi Me?- Kawhi might not have the same Alpha Dog mentality to sustain an entire season as a go-to guy. As he is being groomed into a bonafide star, it may be too much to handle.
- The want for “more”– It’s an old theory on championship teams: sometimes, winning it all is devastating long term. When the business side of basketball is taken into account, undervalued stars (Boris Diaw, Danny Green, for example) begin to demand “more” from the organization. More shots, more opportunities, more money. Though the Spurs aren’t wired this particular way, it could be an issue as both Coach Popovich and the Big 3 near the end.
Let’s be honest, none of those are likely to happen. The Big 3 was as impressive as ever in the postseason, Kawhi’s tireless work ethic and quiet confidence are what made him the youngest Finals MVP ever (22 years old), and the Spurs’ role players are among the most cohesive units in all of sports.
2015 should be another year of the same ol’ “boring” Spurs doing what they are supposed to do each and every season: creating an opportunity to raise another banner in June.
With the same roster from last year, Duncan and co. just might repeat for the first time in franchise history.
Projected Starting 5:
Finally, A Dynasty?:
Depending upon whom you ask, a sports dynasty has to include winning titles in consecutive years at some point. But if you take a look at San Antonio’s string of success, they have to be classified as a dynasty.
Winning 5 championships in the span of 15 years is no easy feat at all, especially considering is it with the same core group of pieces (Popovich, Duncan, Parker, Ginobili) that orginally started it. But for all of the remaining skeptics, title no. 6 would easily cement their reign as one of the most successful in NBA history.
G Danny Green- The “Green Ranger” was the man in last year’s Finals. No longer a specialist, he can now put the ball on the floor and lock down opponents night in and night out.
Though his numbers weren’t gaudy in the regular season (avg. 9 ppg on 43% shooting), look for Green to have an even bigger role as the Big 3 plays less minutes.
Best Case: Championship number 6.
Worst Case: San Antonio gets taken out by a hungrier team (LA Clippers, OKC) in Round 2. After the year, they prepare a farewell tour for Popovich, Duncan and Ginobili.
1st, Southwest Division (1st Western Conference), Will Lose in NBA Finals
“He’s just like a timeless clock”- Chris Bosh on Tim Duncan