Blogtable: Spurs, Celts Not Acting Old

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes to weigh in on the three most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.

The Spurs were too old. The Celtics were too old. Have you seen these guys play lately? Is it time to reassess the chances for these “too old” teams?

Steve Aschburner: My concerns with both these teams never was age – it was health. If Boston managed to keep Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen healthy, if San Antonio did likewise with Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker – or get to the postseason with all of them reasonably intact – then I figured they would be fine for a “tournament” run. It was up to their wily head coaches to navigate the uniquely grueling regular season with stars who never had been older, and to a great extent, Doc Rivers and Gregg Popovich have done that. Each team remains, to me, what it was when the season started; I’ve got the Spurs as the West’s second-biggest title threat and the Celtics as the East’s third- or fourth-best.

Fran Blinebury: Age with the Spurs was only an issue to those who didn’t bother to look past Tim, Tony and Manu.  San Antonio has gotten consistent contributions all season long from Gary Neal, Danny Green, Matt Bonner, Tiago Splitter and rookie Kawhi Leonard.  Now DeJuan Blair is picking up his game. The plan was to infuse to with youth around the Big Three.  Duncan’s minutes have been kept to a career low, so that he can perform when needed.  Parker has forced his way into the MVP conversation. This is the same team that was the No. 1 seed last spring and got better and younger.  While I admire the efforts of Boston’s Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce in keeping the Celtics going even with Ray Allen ailing, I still think the years and the miles catch up to them in the playoffs.

Scott Howard-Cooper: Nothing to reassess. Maybe the Spurs a bit, because I thought they would be good, just not this good. But the Celtics were always going to find their way out of the fog. I’ll stick with what I said months ago: Boston would still be heard from in the regular season and good enough to win a series. They’re just not good enough to be a serious contender to win the East.

Shaun Powell: The Spurs didn’t deserve to be grouped with the Celtics. Tony Parker isn’t old, Manu Ginobili isn’t old, Tim Duncan … well, OK, he’s old. But Duncan is looking fairly fresh (scoring and rebounding are up from last season) and, as usual, the role players are solid, much more than their counterparts in Boston. So, with the exception of a late-January swoon, the Spurs have been solid. The Celtics, however, are definitely feeling rejuvenated, although I wonder how much of that is due to playing in the East. They do have pride, which will continue to serve them well. Until their legs and lungs finally give out.

John Schuhmann: I never thought they were too old (really). The Celtics’ issue has always been their bench, which has been more depleted than ever this season. The reserves still aren’t giving them great offensive production, but they’ve been able to maintain the level of defense that the starters have established. The Celtics rank 26th in offensive efficiency since the break, but have been ridiculously stifling defensively, especially in the last couple of weeks. The Spurs were a great team last year and only got knocked off early because they shot 29 percent from 3-point range against the Grizzlies after shooting the league’s highest percentage in the regular season. Memphis, who defends on the perimeter as well as anyone, was a bad matchup.

Sekou Smith: There is no need. The Celtics look like the team we all knew they would be, a group of veterans hardened by the past four seasons and capable, when their energy provides, of taking apart any team they face. It just so happens they’ve done a lot more of it since the All-Star break. They’re also playing some of their younger pieces (Avery Bradley being the poster child for the future of their role players) and getting the very best out of whatever the Big 3 have left. It also helps when Rajon Rondo is at his best. The Spurs have been knocking teeth out all season, doing it without much fanfare as always. But again, there is no need to evaluate them all over again. They’re deeper and more talented than they were before all of their recent personnel additions. But they were a legitimate contender then, as they are now.

57 Comments

  1. OALAKERS says:

    ANOTHER LOW RATINGS IN THE FINALS IF THE SPURS MAKE IT.A VERY BORING TEAM THE SPURS ARE.OKC VS.MIAMI IN FINALS.

  2. Mike says:

    It’s pointless trying predict champions. The post-season is a totally different dimension to the regular season. Some teams dominate the regular season and then fizzle out in the first round. Some teams start clicking together in the last few weeks and are primed to make a good run. Other teams have a rocky start to the first round which tends to serve as a timely reality check. You’re all wasting your time, surely you’ve got better things to do. Like, homework.

  3. carl says:

    I think the SPURS will bag this year the title…. they have enough weapon to get that ring.. the Big 3 doing fine and their bench has a lot of talent… TD is acting like Hakeem Olajuwon in his old days.. He kept his statistic he’s doing rebound still and maintain his double digits all night long…what about Manu G. this guy is capable as always he is..Tony Parker is in MVP race and leading the team in scoring..BENCH can match as any NBA team….

  4. Spurs are the deepest team in the league with 12 players that are unselfish with the ball. Yeah we have our big 3, Manu #20 Duncan#21 Parker#9. But u cant forget our bench. We have a team that can easily take out anybody in the league. Miami is lucky we didnt play them this season. We wouldnt in the playoffs because i dont see them in the finals. To all the spurs haters out there just keep hatin because the spurs are doing everything right to make yall mad :) . Last time i checked were #1 in the western conference. We havent gone more than a 2 game losing streak. Unlike the bulls heat and thunder. Whos the deepest team that can take over a game? The Spurs? And The bulls rely on D-Rose to much. When Lebron Wade and bosh are sitting out other teams catch up because of their poor bench. OKC only has Durnant and Westbrook two elite players in the league but them two cant beat the spurs.

    This is my finals preview. Spurs And Bulls

    Spurs take it 4-2

  5. mybloodissilverandblack says:

    Fran Blinebury said it best: “Age with the Spurs was only an issue to those who didn’t bother to look past Tim, Tony and Manu.” Just too many ignorant / misinformed NBA fans / Spurs haters out there.

  6. Gonzo says:

    Ima die hard Spurs fan n have always kept my faith in the Spurs every year,Last year unfortunately we were hurt and our bench was not deep enough to fill in the gaps since we had to deal with injuries.Greg Popovich is the best Active Coach in the league today, and he is being very smart with the distribution of the minutes.The Spurs are definately a championship contender this year.I love when my friends talk smack and say the Spurs are too old, i just shake my head and say ” you clear don’t know anything about Basketball” lol GO SPURS GO!!!

  7. Gabriel Zita says:

    Let’s see how “young” they are in the playoffs.

  8. Marko says:

    I can`t even imagine what would happen if spurs play against OKC or LAKERS or other LA team.They`re just training for those teams!

  9. dabestnbafanever says:

    The Spurs? THE SPURS??? Th only old guy on the spurs would be Tim Duncan! And he’s playing like he did a long time ago! Tony Parker is at his peak, and is even in the MVP conversation! Old? NO WAY!! And also this year, the Spurs picked up S-Jax, Leonard the rookie, Boris Diaw, and a lot others. Theyve still got players like Bonner, Neal, Splitter, and Green who are playing the best basketball of THEIR careers, putting up great numbers and reaallly helping the Spurs out! No, they arent old, most of the players are in their 1st, 2nd, or 3rd seasons! And seriously, theyve beaten good teams like the thunder, the heat, the celtics, and a LOT of others. No, thats not an end to the franchise.Thats championship contenders.

  10. willie says:

    why is everyone forgetting who the real champions are? the defending champions are the MAVS, and they will win it again this year… enough of this celtics and spurs nonsense.

  11. Da Spurs says:

    Thank you. “The Spurs are too old” has been going around since what, 2007? Timmy’s 36, alright he’s old. But Manu’s only 35 and Tony’s 30. Who else is old? Stephen Jackson….. Thats about it. They’ve got a way better team than last year heading into the post season. Sure they lost McDyess and I was upset about Hill. Ford’s freak injury, that was sad for anyone to see. But what they’ve got this year going into the playoffs, Jackson, Green, and Diaw. A 100% healthy Ginobili for the first time in forever. A more experienced bunch who got bounced out of the first round last year and are looking to redeem themselves. And most importantly that bunch (Neal, Splitter, Blair, and Bonner) has much more confidence. The Spurs are scary.

    • MikeG21 says:

      Mavs lost Barea, Chandler, Butler, Brewer. Those were three key pieces people. They are not the same team in any way. They will fall in either round one or two. I guarantee that.

  12. Marko says:

    They`re TOO OLD!Last year it was the same story wining in season,than in the playoffs they were the lottery win for team that play against them!

    • mybloodissilverandblack says:

      Apparently you’re not paying attention. Or maybe you’re just talking about the Celtics.

      If “they” (the Spurs) are old, then explain why Duncan, Ginobili, Jackson, and Bonner are the ones older than 30.

  13. JAmel says:

    Yall people do nothing but hate on the spurs their a great team who play REAL team basketball of course Manu injury is not comparable to d rose because their offense is D Rose that’s why he is ring less !!!!! It seems when lebron injured,rose injured its in a excuse but when it’s the spurs it’s not, no one on the spurs shoots 26 shots they are one unit when ya realize championships come from a team one player

  14. Michael says:

    It was found out later that Ginobili’s arm was actually broken during that series with Memphis. The Spurs are way deeper now this year than last anyway. As far as Boston goes, if they can manage to beat Chicago or Miami, I’ll be a happy guy.

  15. vamos a la playa says:

    the spurs have nothing to share with boston.
    they are a deep, talented team and the young guys behind the big three keep improving.
    just look at gary neal, splitter, leonard, etc.
    excellente roster and well coached.

    boston is a tough, tough team. their pride is an extra energy barrel during some season bad times.
    the real problem is just one: how can you match up, in a play off series, without a real center?
    o’neal and willcox are done.

  16. MikeG21 says:

    If any of you had a chance to see the game last night between Boston and San Antonio, then you would know to fear the both of them come Playoff time. The Spurs, as far as I am concerned can go 12 deep on their roster, and get a contribution. They could play seven guys off the bench, and not even need as much from the young starting five. The Spurs start Parker (30), Green (24), Leonard (20), Blair (23), Duncan (35). The Spurs have Jackson and Ginobili coming off the bench with Neal, Splitter, Bonner, Diaw, Anderson, and Mills. I don’t care who you are, but that is one deep team, and Mills has played the backup PG spot very well in his first few games with the team, including leading the team with 20pts against Cleveland the other night.

    As for Boston, as youthful as they are, I fear they have too much youth and too much age. Allen, Pierce, and Garnett are way past each of their primes. They all are still effective, and even though they can play great on any given night, I don’t see them, along with Rondo, carrying this team past the Heat, Bulls, OR Orlando. This team relies too much on its starting unit, and that will kill Boston in my opinion. Philadelphia shouldn’t be left out either even though they have slowed a little bit from their start this season. The East is puzzling due in part that any team could really make a run, and if New York can shock a team in round one, Jeremy Lin would be back for round 2. I am not on the Lin bandwagon in any way, but no one can deny what he did for that team this season. They too could be a real threat to anyone.

  17. jan279 says:

    Don’t ever count out the Spurs and Celtics as they can beat anyone. For the Celtics, I think it lies on the play of the Big 4 if they’re lookin’ to make a deep run in the playoffs. Unhealthy Big 4 means short postseason run for the Celtics. For the Spurs, I think it’s more with TP if they want make a long run in the playoffs. I don’t really see the Spurs beating OKC without Tony, maybe if Manu and Timmy somehow manage to turn back the clock, but the key for the Spurs is a healthy Tony Parker. The Spurs are just a whole different team with Tony; the Spurs have better spacing with him; he can either take it to the hole or dish it off to the open man. A great example of how deadly the Spurs are with Tony is in that 11-point manhandling of OKC with Tony torching the Thunder with 42 points. I have not even mentioned the other intangibles yet, which would be tiring in my part. LOL xD No disrespect to the rest of the Spurs who have also done their part in the Spurs’ success, but I just don’t think the Spurs have what it takes to take it all the way without Tony.

  18. Law064 says:

    Go Celtic’s Go Bulls, I’m a huge Celtic’s fan and earlier this season people were wrighting them off as if they are not a solid team. They were playing poorly and with all the injuries they’ve had this season I’m suprised they’re at the #4 spot currently. Everyone claims that the Celtic’s and spurs are done but the fat lady is not singing yet. I can say 1 thing about both of these teams. They are VETS and you can never count a veteran team out. When the playoffs come I think they will suprise some teams and people who sleeps on them. Go Bulls Go Celtic’s!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. marina mapoy says:

    to all commentators

    just be fair of what you are commenting, especially the spurs
    when you know that they were though teams. i love spurs..

  20. Choker says:

    Agree…….. but still this is just a regular season, wait till the playoffs, lets see. I think the Spurs are Championship contenders

  21. Scotty says:

    Zach Randolph was the reason Spurs lost to Memphis last year.

  22. Travis says:

    Spurs didn’t just get knocked out of the first round because of the poor shooting, but also because of the health of Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan wasn’t himself towards the end of the season. now that Spurs have S-Jax back, plus brought Diaw and Mills to the team and got rid of RJ (who didn’t really fit into the Spurs’ system), I think they will go far into the playoffs as long as they’re healthy, and could win over Thunder.
    As for Celtics, I think they could be a scare in the east and most likely could make it to 2nd round as long as they secure the division lead over 76ers. it’s impressive that they are hanging around even with the injury bug biting them.

  23. eric august says:

    As far as last year, I don’ think what the Grizz did was luck. Yeah the Spurs didn’t have Manu, but the Grizz didn’t have Rudy Gay either. The Grizz are a serious threat to any team in the west. That being said, if the Spurs are healthy going into the playoffs, I do consider them to be the favorite to come out of the west. Their supporting cast is MUCH improved, and they’re going to be driven by their first round exit last year. I don’t see OKC coming out of the west. I still don’t like the dynamic of Durant and Westbrook. They need a TRUE point guard.

    I’m sick of the Celtics being called the green greezers and stuff like that. KG is playing as well as he has in a long time. That dude looks completely rejuvenated. Pierce is the same age as Kobe, and Ray being the oldest of the big 3, is in great shape. Their bench is fairly weak for sure, but if Pietrus, Steimsma, and Bradley play well enough, I think they can get by. The big 3 and Rondo have one last run in them. I see Boston as the 2nd favorite to come out of the east. I have a feeling that only Miami can beat Boston in a 7 game series this year. Yes I’m aware of the Bulls, but their defense is their strongest point, and the Celtics play D just as well. The C’s have A LOT of pride, and Pierce wants another ring badly before he retires. Don’t sleep on the Celtics…

    • Travis says:

      true, that Grizzlies didn’t have Rudy Gay, yet they were able to learn to play without him in the regular season before playoffs began.

  24. Anthony Thomas ( Roch. N.Y ) says:

    KOBE said it best some people make comments just to piss people off .. just take them as a joke , because anyone who truly knows BBall knows the spurs & celtics have what it takes to get to the finals as do the lakers , the onyl question is ,can they get there healty and ready for another run .. i’m a celtic fan of 32 years . i take the bad with the good !!!

  25. spurs fan says:

    prix knows only 3 team i guess..OKC,Miami or Clippers…Yes they are playing great this season can they be that consistent in playoff time??spurs is banged up last year manu is hurt even duncan play with injury,,i dont think grizz can do that again to spurs they just lucky that we banged up last year..i dont think Clippers it a treat in west as a spurs fan our only treat is dallas,lakers and a little OKC i think we can defend OKC isolation play of durant or westbrook..just watch 2007 finals what the spurs do to lebron in isolation ;) go spurs go

  26. charles says:

    I’m very surprised by Spurs and Celtics. I knew they are playoff teams, but didn’t know they would be able to avoid injuries in such a condensed schedule. If the big four in Celtics stay healthy and the bench keep them fresh, they are very dangerous – especially now that Garnet has moved to center. Spurs is all about Ginobli. If he’s not there, they won’t win even with Parker and Duncan. But if the Parker Duncan and Ginobli team is on, it is going to be tough to beat that team – especially since the infusion of youth and a deep bench.

  27. the spurs will go as far as Duncan can take them and tim is lookin good this season there a different team this year from last alot of those players on the bench are playing much better and parker is lookin good too and coach pop is the truth. The celtics are getting heathly and kg is taken on more charges on d the knee in his mind is feeling good they won the ring a few years ago with D and there playing good D right now but the C are all about Rondo they will go as far as he takes them when he plays aggresive and with energy they will win he’s now there best player.

  28. Joe says:

    Everyone likes to forget that SA’s starting 2 (MANU) played the series against MEM with a BROKEN ARM. That was the main cause of losing in the first round. Lightening doesn’t strike twice in the same spot.

  29. Fraka says:

    Prix is ultimate troll.. get over it.
    Only idiots can think that Boston or San antonio cant win.
    In 2010. Boston was outrebaunded by 20+ because they were without Perk and that is the only reason they lost. La shot like 31% but they were too tall. Last year.. Rondo 1 hand, come on, he is everything for C’s.

  30. Krob( Spurs fan) says:

    The celtics look rejuvinated….I’d give them maybe a second round in the playoffs at best..I don’t see them being a contender again but they can put up a fight with anyone (maybe if there bench improves and they get some consistency from Allen ..as far as my Spurs i can see us being a contender ..if were healthy and Manu and Tony perform at a high level along with Timmy and we get good contribution from the 4 ..the lakers ,are a threat to us cause of there length and history between them and us ,, OKC cause3 there young and pretty good team and they have like all the makings of a contender but they lack experience they do have some playoff experience

    • do not forgetme says:

      take into effect allen is on a bum ankle, there trying to rest him as much as possible for the playoffs right now

  31. Jerry Ries says:

    As a Celtic fan, I can apeak to their injury issue more so than I can to the Spurs’. Put Jeff Green, Chris Wilcox, and Jermaine O’Neal (with his 19 minutes, 5.5 boards and 1.5 blocks), not to mention Allen and Pietrus (two who actually ARE coming back) and this team would be ready to rumble with anybody. I didn’t say “BEAT” anybody. Bradley and Steimsa have been a nice surprise, too.

  32. Belmont says:

    Is Prix handicapped? Seriously, I wonder if he has ever watched a game.

    We all know that nobody wants to play either of these 2 teams right now. They are on a roll and can beat anybody when they are playing this way. The question is which teams will show up for the playoffs. I think Boston can beat Miami or Chicago in a series only if they are playing the way they are now. Miami has 2 great players and Chicago has one. Its unlikely they will beat either but totally doable. Rondo has to be triple double good and Avery has to play lock down D with Allen maybe not starting. Times are changing and it makes them a harder team to play.

    San An is as deep of a team as there is. Who really wants to play them? But, we saw what the Grizz did last year so who knows what can happen in a series. I hope both do well as some of the great players on both teams will not be around much longer.

    Go Celts and Go Spurs!!!!

    • TDallthewayacrossthesky says:

      i agree manu was hurt last playoffs and i believe that the Spurs d have the deepest bench in the league. Ps I am not biased.

  33. Not everyone thought these two teams were too old. I, for one, predicted that these veteran-laden teams would both win 42 games (http://randomnbafan.com/12/19/2011/boston-celtics-2011-2012-game-by-game-predictions/ and http://randomnbafan.com/12/23/2011/san-antonio-spurs-2011-2012-game-by-game-predictions/) and earn home-court advantage for the first round of the playoffs.

    Although they may not both make it to 42 wins (the Celtics are on pace for a 38-win season) it does look like they will both earn one of the top four seeds in their respective conferences.

  34. prix says:

    We all know Spurs and Boston acting strong and pretending to be tough and win some games but when playoff time this 2 teams disappears and vaporize..

    • KINGJAMESBALLIN says:

      You’ve gone too far this time prix with your comment. Counting these times out so easily in unacceptable.

    • Elias says:

      yea right. which is why the Spurs have won 4 titles in the last decade or so with almost the same core. And if it weren’t for fisher’s .4 miraculous shot and Manu’s last second foul, we would have been talking about 6 championships in the last decade. Get your facts straight!

      • Ranth says:

        Lol, another fanboy who likes to put ‘if’ in his statements. Stop dreaming bro.

      • SuperJun says:

        he doesn’t need the if, they still have 4 titles and been a force to reckon with every year.

    • kobe says:

      how many title’s Heat have..excactly…prix just likes to get under peoples skin so bloggers dont get upset or offended ..he has no bball knowledge at all..just laugh at his comments..humor is great

    • TDallthewayacrossthesky says:

      well see about that

    • do not forgetme says:

      clearly you are dumb haha, these 2 teams have always do good in the playoffs, ok minus the spurs epic choke last year

      • samikep says:

        I wouldn’t call your leading scorer (Ginobili) playing with a broken arm choking…

    • Richard says:

      WE say this with the Spurs last year remember they has the best record in the league, what happenend? they were bounced from the playoffs. Expect the same thing this year.

      • RG says:

        @Richard, you can’t guarantee that will happen again. you don’t know the future. that was last year. sorry, but this Spurs is much deeper than last year’s team. nice try, though.

    • ev1398 says:

      prix is a hater

    • sbfern805 says:

      Prix!! why didnt you comment on the Lakers VS Clippers blog today? Because you WERE WRONG… JUST LIKE ALL THE NONSENSE YOU WRITE. YOU WERE WRONG THEN, ARE WRONG NOW, AND WILL CONTINUE TO BE WRONG!!!