Blogtable: Believing in the Spurs

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes across the globe 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.


BLOGTABLE: Buying into the Spurs | Fixing Indiana | West 5-6-7-8



VIDEO: Sam Mitchell takes a look, through SportVU cameras, at how the Spurs share the ball

> What more is it going to take to convince you that the Spurs not only can win the West, but can win it all? Are you already convinced?

Steve Aschburner, NBA.com: All I needed was one close-up look Monday night. Granted, San Antonio was playing a lost group in Indiana, and holding the Pacers below 80 points has become all the rage throughout the NBA. But the Spurs also stuck them for 103 points, with the second unit inflicting damage well after the starters sat down. San Antonio is a well-oiled drill team. Every other contender has some flaw(s) by comparison. There’s no such entity as a “LeBron stopper” but Kawhi Leonard has as good a chance to slow him as anyone. Other than a horribly timed injury, I don’t see much stepping between the Spurs and the Larry O’Brien trophy. Other than that man from Miami doing something really memorable …

Fran Blinebury, NBA.com: No need to convince me. They came within 28 seconds of winning the championship last June.  Now they are deeper, healthier, better.  At this point, the Spurs are the team to beat.

Jeff Caplan, NBA.com: Convinced. Have been. For a long time. I think the Spurs are better now than they were a year ago. The addition of Marco Belinelli was brilliant, and Manu Ginobili, who looked ready to buy the farm last June, is somehow rejuvenated. Everything you’d ever want in a basketball TEAM is right here.

Scott Howard-Cooper, NBA.com: There’s any doubt? How can anyone not be convinced? They score, defend, shoot well, have experience, have closers, have coaching and limit chances for opponents by hitting the defensive boards. Offensive rebounding is a problem, but the Spurs could finish No. 1 in the league in field-goal percentage, so it’s actually not a problem. They make so many baskets that players are simply out of practice with what to do when the ball does not go in. I was convinced about San Antonio from the start of the season, even if the Clippers were my pick to win the West. This is just being more convinced.

John Schuhmann, NBA.com: A win on Thursday would help, because they’ve lost nine of their last 11 meetings with Oklahoma City, having been scorched by OKC’s offense in a lot of those games. The Spurs are the best team in the league, but the Thunder, with their athleticism and that Kevin Durant guy, are obviously a bad matchup for them. The West is so good that a 1-2 matchup in the conference finals is far from a guarantee, but it’s hard to pick the Spurs when they’ve done so poorly against the next best team in the conference. So a win on Thursday, especially since they’ll be at a disadvantage in terms of both rest and location, would help convince me that San Antonio can win title No. 5. At this point, I’d be more likely to pick them in a series against Miami than in one against OKC.

Lang Whitaker, NBA.com All Ball blog: When you really think about it, last season the Spurs were one measly rebound away from winning it all. But when they got to Game 7, they just didn’t have anything left in the tank. So I’m still not convinced the Spurs can win it all this season. Sure, Ginobili seems to be back to being GINOBILI!, and all the other guys just keep doing what they do. But they’ve had guys miss chunks of the season throughout the year dealing with injuries. And while Pop has always tried to manage his team’s minutes with an eye on the long haul, I’m still not convinced these Spurs can keep pounding that rock for 100-plus games.

Stefanos Trianafyllos, NBA Greece: Excuse me, but I am one of the true believers — and that’s not only because I was a San Antonio fan before the Tim Duncan era. The story is getting older than the Spurs themselves. “They are too old, they cannot make it again, they will run out of gas.” No, no, no. The Spurs just keep pounding that rock, as the favorite motto of Greg Popovich applies. Before the playoffs it’s always the same: they can make it ’till the end, IF they stay healthy (that’s the tricky part with age). Especially when nobody expects them to do so. And you know why we wouldn’t be surprised? Because they have done it over and over again.

Aldo Avinante, NBA Philippines: I’m still convinced from last year. They were a missed free throw, 1-in-a-million 3-pointer or a rebound away from the 2013 NBA title. They have a complete lineup with a great coach and a system that works well. What they need though is a little bit of luck and most importantly health.

Simon Legg, NBA Australia: I don’t need any convincing! They were essentially moments away from winning it all last season and seem to have come back bigger and stronger this season. Couple that with their incredible coach and the experienced core players who have been there and done that, and this team deserve to be favorites. The only concern for these guys is health and managing their aging stars, but if they’re all there come the pointy end, this team has as good a chance as any.

47 Comments

  1. Sal says:

    lmao..OKC winning it all??

    I guess we all believe in fairy tales sometimes. Miami would crush them worse than 2012…. when offensive bigs have proven to be Miamis kryptonite why would you encourage Ibaka to be a 30s % 3 point shooter, awful coaching- with his size he should be smashing other bigs, doing dirty work in the paint. Kevin Durant playing 80 minutes a game and still cant have an off night or they’ll lose. Westbrook has worse knees than Duncan at this point, their idea of bench scoring is Caron Butler and D. Fish. So sick of the media pushing this team like they’ve accomplished anything beyond being abused by Miami in the fiinals.(same goes for the clippers, cant even beat a hobbled spurs team all year)

    Anyone but the Spurs equal an easy ride for the heat, it does all makes sense when you think of it though, Adam silver and co. would love Miami to win again.

    Spurs in 5

  2. Spurs vs Miami says:

    Depends if Spurs can get past OKC or not.. Last year westbrook was hurt and the year before that OKC won 4 straight against the Spurs…after they spurs went up 2-0.If OKC reaches the finals this year I would say Miami would 3 peat health permitting (if wade can play etc) ..if Spurs beat OKC then its gonna be a hell of a series that is for sure.

    OKC is at a disadvantaged agaisnt Miami.. its all about matchups.
    Let the playoffs begin!!

  3. Duke says:

    It usually comes down to bench play and the Spurs have the deepest and best 3 shooters in the league. That will prove the difference over a 7 game finals. Last year the Spurs were the superior team but coach pop lost his mind the last 28 seconds and blew their advantage in game 6.

  4. johnduck says:

    spurs will win it if they do a better job on DEFENSIVE boards, they let too much offensive rebounds and i don’t like that at all.

  5. go warriors! says:

    This is what’s going to happen in the playoffs:
    1st round
    spurs vs memphis
    okc vs phx
    clips vs gsw
    hou vs por

    2nd round
    memphis vs hou
    gsw vs okc

    wcf
    gsw vs hou

    finals
    gsw vs heat

    warriors for champions! whooo!!

    just kidding of course. just wish this would happen! spurs would win it all unless okc beats them in wcf. PEACE!

  6. Michel says:

    Miami is not the obstacle this year. OKC is. Hope for a first round upset OKC vs Dallas since the latter has proven to be OKC’s nightmare this season. Pretty much as Brooklyn is to Miami.

  7. heatles says:

    if d wade is healthy then…….. its over….heat will 3 peat

  8. jeric says:

    just wait until the playoffs begins

  9. kavika6 says:

    KaashMoneyy94

    Tony Parker doesn’t have the greatest numbers BECAUSE he is part of a system. Can’t you see how easily he can score on ANYONE? If he were allowed to run loose like some of the other point guards in the league with inflated numbers his own numbers would be much higher. But since he isn’t a ball hog and follows the coach’s directions to perfection he doesn’t. I’d take him over any point guard in the league.

  10. Wow... says:

    As far as I’m concerned, this isn’t even a question. It’s obvious that the Spurs are championship-ready, especially with the Heat not at championship form, and the Spurs rolling along..

    • allaroundballer says:

      I’ll vote pop for the best coach these last 15years. BUT last season spurs didn’t face much challenge in the playoff. The western final was too easy, they owned grizzlies. This season will be different. Spurs likely meet rockets in the second round and than clippers or okc in the west final. All three are much better and mature now. I wonder if duncan n ginobilli still have some energy left for the final – IF they make it

  11. NBA Fan 35 says:

    Spurs will win the NBA Title this year.

  12. jdub455 says:

    this is the only team that has a 50/50 chance of beating the heat in a series… actually it might be 51/49 now in their favor coz this time, they have homecourt adv. Plus the spurs are rested and has certainly improved its roster. Bellinelli is an amazing pickup plus mills is solid. If battier will not find his shooting against them, then the 3 peat is over. The spurs D is to sag off on bron and wade to force them to make jumpers rather than drive and kickout. On the offense side, parker just destroys their D. too fast, smart and has a lot of options. I think that’s why toney douglas was taken by the heat. Plus no player has step up to take mike millers place in the rotation. Beasley is inconsistent and rashard is slow on defensive rotation. Still rooting for Miami though! 

    • PHXfan says:

      50/50? RIght now the Spurs, Clips and Thunder would all start favourites against the Heat in a playoff series. The Heat are no certainty to even make the Conference finals the way they have been playing over the last month. Last year the Spurs were horribly close to winning it all, this year they are better and Miami are worse, if these two met in the finals tomorrow it’d be 75/25 in favour of the Spurs.

  13. Mario says:

    I hope Pop rest key players the last three games…The last three games spell trouble for injuries

  14. Someone says:

    no need for anyone to be convinced… San Antonio has been the best team in the league since last year, Miami just proved that lucky>good

  15. okc2014 says:

    I too, agree, that the Spurs are a well-oiled machine. But I’m still going w/OKC who are faster, stronger younger and better; and Kevin Durant has the eye of the tiger. OKC2014.

    • Sal says:

      lmao..OKC winning it all??

      I guess we all believe in fairy tales sometimes. Miami would crush them worse than 2012…. when offensive bigs have proven to be Miamis kryptonite why would you encourage Ibaka to be a 30s % 3 point shooter, awful coaching- with his size he should be smashing other bigs, doing dirty work in the paint. Kevin Durant playing 80 minutes a game and still cant have an off night or they’ll lose. Westbrook has worse knees than Duncan at this point, their idea of bench scoring is Caron Butler and D. Fish. So sick of the media pushing this team like they’ve accomplished anything beyond being abused by Miami in the fiinals.(same goes for the clippers, cant even beat a hobbled spurs team all year)

      Anyone but the Spurs equal an easy ride for the heat, it does all makes sense when you think of though, Adam silver and co. would love Miami to win again.

      Spurs in 5

  16. Latigo Spurs Rapper says:

    Provided there will be no major injuries to key players, I have no doubt in my mind that the SPURS will once again march to the NBA Finals. I expect a tough battle with the other Western Conference contenders but I think they will still make it. They are just too good to lose a 7 game series against any team in the west right now. GO SPURS GO! From me and the rest of the SADP (San Antonio De Padua) Basketball Team from Pier 3, Santander, Cebu.

  17. Michael says:

    Let’s not forget that Ginobili was fouled, and so was Danny Green. Both bad no calls. Just ask Jeff Van Gundy.

    • PHXfan says:

      I am (obviously) a PHX fan and even I couldn’t believe that foul on Ginobili wasn’t called.

  18. Caution! Robot says:

    The Spurs are better this year, but so is the Western Conference, with the except

  19. cp10 says:

    #1 seed in 2011, taken down by Grizzlies, we see the same type of story every year from them but best of luck to them, they are a hardy squad

    • RG says:

      you do realize that was a different team 3 years ago, despite the fact that the Spurs’ Big 3 are still on the team. Ginobili was playing injured in that series, Splitter finally got playing time in the last 3 games of that series, and Richard Jefferson was the starting SF at the time. there was no Leonard, Diaw, Belinelli, or even Mills on that team. and yet after that disappointment happened, the Spurs got back to the WCF (2012) and the Finals (2013, which they should have won, but it is what it is). this team can win the championship this season.

    • Kalbo!! says:

      very narrow knowledge.. pls do your homework before posting..

  20. AOC31 says:

    “they got to Game 7, they just didn’t have anything left in the tank.” – Whitaker

    Either the dude is an idiot, or he really didn’t pay attention to game 7. The Spurs had plenty left in the tank. Matter of fact, they were even a tip in a way with 50 seconds left from tying the game and having a legitimate shot at winning the series, despite what happened in game 6. Even though you write for NBA.com, I don’t think you know basketball based off of your one idiotic answer. Spurs were 28 seconds away from winning it all in game 6, went down to the final minute in game 7 and came back even better the next year! You can’t sit there and say that you’re not convinced that the Spurs can’t win the Championship this year.

    • Kalbo!! says:

      Agree.. The only one who answered nearly 100% negative.

      How dare you say “when you really think about it” when you yourself clearly didn’t? it’s either you’re a hypocrite who probably just wanna get recognize for having a different answer or a hater who only appreciates flashy basketball. Or worse, maybe both. One way or another, a really poor judgement.

  21. dustydreamnz says:

    I believe the Spurs are better than last year. Whether the other teams have improved enough remains to be seen. You can always count on people counting the Spurs out no matter what their record.
    If you count a team out with an 18 game win streak you’re counting a heck of a lot of others out too.

  22. Andrew says:

    Spurs is like a bad habit to break. Winning is already in their system, unlike any other team, they need to depend on one or couple of people to win. For Spurs, they can always depend on whoever is on the floor.

  23. S. Smiths an idiot!! says:

    OKC has nothing!! Neither team this year has seen each teams full roster. Spurs seem to adjust with less friction than the Thunder. In a series I feel the Spurs are just too good at both ends. People REALLY under estimate the Spurs athleticism simply because the Big 3 is all that come to mind. They have been together so long most public calls anybody out the B3 the bench!! lol Soon on national television these news Spurs will shine thru!! The Big 3 has become the Big Deep!! Don’t get it confused, the Big 3 are still the Shot Callers…just not the Only Ballers!! Spurs will win the West and beat whoever may come from the East. They’re just too good!!

  24. thespectator says:

    i dont think spurs will “destroy” okc….durant is a much deeper player now…hes def the mvp thats for sure…i would love to see these two teams in the WCF….im really not sure who would win…but if spurs comes out the west, they will beat miami and get the title..if OKC wins…Miami will 3 peat..

    • Marco29 says:

      Agreed for the West finals and the potential Finals but the West is so packed that it is not sure they will go that far. Facing Dallas, Memphis or Phoenix in the first round could be tough, then Houston or Portland in the second round could be tricky.
      Staying healthy is the major point and Pop knows it. They have a crazy schedule until the PO start. Even if the First place is at stake, he will continue to rest some players and monitor the minutes. Spurs ar very deep (why does nobody mention the great contribution, defense and basketball IQ of Boris Diaw?) and the best team on the road so home court is not as essential as for other teams.

      • momo says:

        Thanks for mentioning Boris Diaw. He’s been the key in the win against Indiana last monday. Last year he was amazing on defending Lebron James. The european championship crown this summer has made him more convident, tougher and healthier.
        kavika6 is right, the Spurs doesn’t play for stats, they just want to win. That’s a real team, others team are just relying on one or two players.

  25. Aj109 says:

    There is no question. It doesn’t matter how well OKC has played against San Antonio during the season, the Spurs if they meet OKC in the playoffs the Spurs will destroy them. This Spurs team who was one rebound, three-pointer, or free-throw from winning the championship is better than last year with Ginobili having a good turnaround season and Patty Mills showing that he’s a great backup point guard and the addition of Bellinelli which has shown to be one of the best offseason acquisitions made by any team.

    How can you be better than last year AND last year you were only one win away from a championship and possibly be doubted?

    @defdun they have played Miami recently and they handed Miami their worst loss of the season. The Thunder last year lost Westbrook in the playoffs then got demolished by the Grizzlies. Then the Grizzlies faced the Spurs and got swept. Athleticism doesn’t win games it only helps. If it was the determining factor in winning games then the Spurs wouldn’t have by far the best record in the NBA.

  26. hog says:

    Lang Whitaker = idiot in this case

  27. Judging by the way they are playing lately, one may be tempted to pick them to win it all. But it is not likely to happen if history is to serve any guide. The Spurs are odd-year guys. They have never been even-year champions. Their championships have come in 1999, 2003, 2005, and 2007. 2013 was their year and they missed it narrowly in an unprecedentedly painful way. They will have to wait for another odd-year for another championship. Therefore, at the risk of being tagged fatalistic or superstitious, this is not their year.

  28. KaashMoneyy94 says:

    Tim Duncan and Tony Parker aren’t even that great. They are seriously products of a system. When Pop rests them, the Spurs don’t miss a beat and still pound teams with guys like Patty Mills. Actually Tim Duncan is still pretty amazing because I’ve never seen a big guy with a better set of post moves. But for all the people saying that Parker is a top 3 PG or even the best is ridiculous. He’s just got the necessary skills to run an amazing system. Put Chris Paul or Deron Williams in this same system and they will produce similar if not better results than TP.

    • nastybrawler says:

      Tim Duncan is not a great player?—tell that to the marines!!!—they will execute you instantly!!!
      Coach Pop will be right behind tim duncan when he finally hangs up his jersey…
      tim duncan considered as the Greatest Power Forward ever…remember that!!!
      Tony Parker is already been great on his own…he doesn’t need the media and fans to tell him that but his opposite point guard is having nightmares after their match-up…
      popovich will definitely pick TP9 over paul or williams…simply because he doesn’t argue with his coach’s decision…
      williams???—coach killer
      paul???—hype player—-ask demarcus cousins!!!

  29. phillip says:

    Last preseason I pick the Spurs to be in the finals with Mismi, and Miami to win it’s second. This preseason I pick both to return, like the Celtics and Lakers of the 80′s., but there will be no trading years of champs. Miami will threepeat, shutting Mike Jordan’s mouth about who he will take and Tim will retire. Remember where you hear it first.

    • hog says:

      if Spurs and Heat shall happen to meet in Finals again, I guarantee you Heat will NOT 3peat because Spurs will not just let their chance blown away twice in a row. as most of the guys said in the article, they were that close to beating them and SHOULD HAVE DONE IT in my opinion. I say Spurs can win it even against the Heat.

      • Marco29 says:

        You can count on Pop for not making the same mistales again. This time he would leave Duncan on the floor and not let a small team get 2 crucial offensive rebounds.

  30. Arkh says:

    Never been a big fan of the Spurs in their big winning era because of their non-flashy style of play (I guess I was too young…) but now I can’t help but marvel at how efficient and consistent is this team. Guys have been winning 50+ games for 15 straight years, even the one with lockout !

    They deserve to go far and I sure hope they will

  31. ChrisTxWAMBO says:

    I believe in my Spurs! Stay Healthy! Pund Da Rock! Stay FOCUS!

    GO SPURS GO! Take one game at a time!

  32. defdun says:

    Thanks John, for reminding everyone here, that the Thunder have got their number! Yes, the Spurs are a “well-oiled machine”, but their lack of athleticism and punch will not get them by top teams like OKC, MIA or even LAC (in case they meet).

    • hog says:

      just because OKC has their number, doesn’t automatically mean that they are going to be coming out of the west like that. if playoffs started today, Thunder would have to face the Clippers in the 2nd round. while I’ll admit Spurs are a bit of a matchup problem against Thunder, Clippers have a chance to beat them especially since they have beaten OKC twice this season. so it’s possible that, Spurs and Clippers could meet in west conf finals, and I believe Spurs can beat them in a series

      • thespectator says:

        when post season starts, regular season wins/losses mean absolutely nothing…the playoffs is a season of its own..we are a few weeks away from an epic playoff battle…cant wait for the games to begin!!!

    • RG says:

      I don’t see the Clippers beating the Spurs in a 7-game series, especially after the last game those two played against each other, regardless of the Clippers adding Granger and Davis. and if the Spurs make it to the Finals against the Heat (should they make it as well), the Spurs match up better against them than OKC. they played them fairly well in last year’s Finals and after the last game between the two, I think the Spurs can beat them this time (should they meet).

      while OKC might have their number recently, hog’s right, that doesn’t necessarily guarantee them beating the Spurs in the playoffs again. and OKC might lead the series 3-0 this season, but keep in mind, those games were in November, December and January, and the Spurs were hitting the injury bug at that time. OKC might have the athleticism, but the Spurs still have the experience and teamwork, and that could help them beat OKC, can certainly beat LAC, and quite possibly beat MIA.