A Second Rodeo: A Preview of The NBA Champion San Antonio Spurs

Jun 20, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich talks with San Antonio Spurs power forward Tim Duncan (21), point guard Tony Parker (9), and shooting guard Manu Ginobili (left) during the fourth quarter of game seven in the 2013 NBA Finals at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Last season, for the fifth time in the organization’s history, the San Antonio Spurs took home the NBA Championship, defeating the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals. With the same trio of Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, Tim Duncan along with Greg Popovich at the helm, the Spurs defied the odds and took down the two-time NBA champions, the Miami Heat. Although many questioned their durability because of the age of players, this team seems to be unstoppable using mind over brawn. So the question going into this season is how long can they keep this up? How much do Ginobili, Duncan and Parker truly have left in the tank? Can they add a six banner to the ceiling of the AT&T Center?

In my opinion, for the last six years, Health and Age certainly have been the Spurs main headline. However, the Spurs continue to defy the laws of Father Time, reaching the Finals two straight times and finishing atop the Western Conference standings every year. Thus, a repeat is very possible for the team.

Look for the Spurs to continue using Greg Popovich’s method this season. Expect to see the trio of Parker, Duncan, and Ginobili averaging 28 to 29 minutes per game. For Ginobili, he could see less time due to a stress fracture in his right fibula suffered over the summer, probably around 23 to 25 minutes. This strategical minute reduction will allow the “Big Three” to be ready for the playoffs and help the Spurs make their slow revamp to their future team.

Expect to hear the name Kawhi Leonard a lot as the 2014 NBA Finals MVP will see a great deal of attention this year. The 23-year-old small forward is the face of the franchise now. The Spurs managed to retain their bench and supporting cast in the offseason, which contributed a huge portion to their victories last season. Players such as Boris Diaw, Patty Mills, Marco Belinelli Danny Green will continue to knock down three-point shots for quick, consistent offense and Tiago Splitter will continue to crash the boards.

Without question, Leonard is the future of the team. However, until Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker hang it up, they will be the undisputed leaders. They are the heartbeat of the team and to Spurs fans. The Oklahoma City Thunder, the Portland Trailblazers and Dallas Mavericks will look to seek revenge this season. The Los Angeles Clippers, the Golden State Warriors, the Chicago Bulls and the newly super-powered Cleveland Cavaliers will look to dethrone the Spurs as well. Only these three players and of course future NBA Hall of Fame head coach Greg Popovich have the ability to lead the team back to NBA Finals.

It will be interesting to see how the 2014-15 San Antonio Spurs fare this season. Timmy and Pop’s quest for six begins Oct. 28 against the Dallas Mavericks in San Antonio.

As for the rest of the league, checkout my season award predictions and NBA Finals champion prediction for the 2014-15 NBA season.

Rookie of The Year
Andrew Wiggins
Most Valuable Player
Derrick Rose
Coach of the Year
Doc Rivers
Defensive Player of The Year
Serge Ibaka
Sixth-Man of the Year
Jamal Crawford
Most Improved Player
Anthony Bennett
All-Star Game Winner
Western Conference
NBA Finals
Chicago Bulls vs. San Antonio Spurs
NBA Champion
San Antonio Spurs
Finals MVP
Kawhi Leonard

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