Chasing Down The Latest NBA News
Before the season begins, there are always a select group of teams that garner so much hype.
The usual suspects are the Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics and, most recently the Miami Heat.
All eyes moved to the Los Angeles Clippers. Yes, those Clippers, with the acquisition of Chauncey Billups and Chris Paul.
Lately, you couldn’t watch ESPN without seeing a clip of this year’s breakout star, New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin.
You can’t really blame them. It has been a while since the Knicks became a relevant force in the NBA.
While all of these teams are getting so much love and attention, what about that other team in the Western Conference that is always a playoff contender, the San Antonio Spurs.
This team has made the postseason in the last 14 years and every season they fly under the radar. And that’s just the way they like it.
Although it’s been five years since the Spurs hoisted the Larry O’Brien trophy, they always seem to be written off. Why is that? They do have three of the most recognizable figures in the league in Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker.
I can tell you why. Look at these three. Then look at Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Derrick Rose, Blake Griffin and several others to name. All of these players have these superstar endorsement deals and nationwide recognition.
What is the most exposure we see from San Antonio’s big three? H-E-B commercials.
Hit the jump for the rest of J.C.’s piece…
So how is a team, which doesn’t have a figure as polarizing as Kobe, LeBron and D-Rose, do so well? It’s because they are playing as a team.
The Spurs head into Saturday’s game against the Clippers with the league’s longest winning streak at nine.
How much do you want to bet you didn’t even know that because you had LIN-Sanity in the brain?
Duncan, Ginobili and Parker are all scoring under 20 points per game, but they play at a balanced level.
One of the main reasons writers easily write off the Spurs is that they are getting old. The average of the top three are 33 and we’ve seen a fair share of injuries for two of the three in Ginobili and Duncan.
As long as the Spurs top players remain healthy, they are always going to be a threat.
I do wonder how much longer are we still going to see this team succeed since we are nearing the end for Duncan and maybe Ginobili, who are 35 and 34 respectively.
Because of their long success, it’s tough for San Antonio to get someone excellent in the NBA draft. Recently, they barely got to the top 20 in the draft with the 2010 pick of guard James Anderson being selected out of Oklahoma State.
Last season, the Spurs finished with the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference and to no surprise, they were not favored to win not just the NBA Championship, but the Conference Championship. They ended up losing to the No. 8 Memphis Grizzlies and it was humiliating for fans and may have been a wake up call to start focusing on the younger players and help them develop. Coach Gregg Popovich has not answered that call and the Spurs are, right now, the hottest team in the league.
Sure, Lin is getting all the attention, but as mentioned earlier, San Antonio likes to be under the radar.
Who knows whether or not this team filled with season veterans will remain this hot and end up heading to their 15th straight trip to the postseason?
In a league where people focus on the superstar, it’s nice to know that there is still a group of players hoping to win a championship.