8 Reasons a San Antonio Spurs Championship Is Inevitable
Fans are reaching a new level of excitement, as a 2012 championship seems to be on the horizon.
Experts are jumping on the bandwagon, and the Spurs are currently the favorites to win the NBA title.
The team has many factors that contribute to their success, ranging from their star power to the play of their second unit.
Here's a look at eight factors that make a fifth title inevitable.
Tony Parker Is Playing at a Very High Level
While the Spurs' team effort has always been one of their most distinguishing traits, I'd be lying if I said they could win it without a true star.
Fortunately for them, a player has risen to the challenge this season, not only being the Spurs' best player, but one of the best in league too. His name? Tony Parker.
The French guard put on a show all season long, as he led his team past the Jazz and the Clippers, as well as to the best regular-season record in the West.
His performance made him an MVP candidate and earned him a trip to Orlando as an All-Star. He was also voted onto the All-NBA Second Team.
He is a smart player who knows when to score and when to distribute. He can make others around him better, or singlehandedly take over a game.
His outstanding performance allows them to possess the star power that they need to win them a ring.
They Have the Best Coach in the League
Gregg Popovich has been the mastermind behind the Spurs for several years now, but this season in particular he has been the most important factor to their success.
Despite being ruled out at the beginning of the season, Pop brought San Antonio back into existence, allowing them to be once again counted in as contenders.
He coached them to the the No. 1 seed and right past the Utah Jazz and the Los Angeles Clippers. Tyrone Corbin and Vinny Del Negro were simply outcoached, which ultimately led to their teams' demise.
As the most important factor in their title quest, the Coach of the Year, Gregg Popovich, will have no problem leading the Spurs to a fifth title.
Yes, despite being often classified as one of the league's oldest teams, behind Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili, the team is fairly young.
Tiago Splitter is in his second year in the league, as is Gary Neal. Danny Green is currently in his third season, along with DeJuan Blair.
However, the biggest factor in this playoffs is rookie Kawhi Leonard.
The former San Diego State Aztec has been fantastic for the Spurs all season long with his defensive efforts, three-point shooting and hustle.
He has done a good job at guarding Kevin Durant, despite the difficulty of the task.
He has remained very professional all season long, specifically the playoffs, where many rookies crack under pressure.
Leonard, on the other hand, has provided San Antonio with nothing but beneficial attributes, such as his young legs and ability to play hard for long periods of time.
While their stars may be aging, San Antonio's role players definitely are young enough to hang with more athletic opponents.
They Are Deeper Than Any Potential Opponent
The Spurs are arguably the deepest team in the league and unquestionably the deepest in the playoffs. All the way from sixth man Manu Ginobili to Gary Neal, the team can find production anywhere on the bench.
Even though they have their fair share of stars, their bench will prove to be the difference in many games, as they will tear apart the reserves of opponents.
With guys like DeJuan Blair and Patty Mills not even being used, you can really see how deep San Antonio is in talent.
Ginobili is arguably the best sixth man in the playoffs; he was the reason the Spurs were victorious against the Thunder in Game 1.
Tiago Splitter provides a strong option as a backup big man, while Matt Bonner's three-point shooting forces opponents out of the middle.
Gary Neal has been fantastic from behind the three-point line and an overall solid player.
Stephen Jackson was superb in guarding Durant, and he has certainly given the Spurs the energy they need. He was born to "play nasty," so this style of play is right up his alley.
They Suffered a Loss
While losing a game is in no way an achievement, perhaps Thursday's loss came for the better. A 20-game win streak must have brought pressure to the guys on the team, and losing to the Thunder help allow them to just focus on the team.
With some players who are young and inexperienced, a playoff loss was necessary to make sure they don't get ahead of themselves.
Now, San Antonio will really get to think about what they did last night and strategize a way to solve those problems in Game 4.
Not to mention, the last time they lost (they actually lost two in a row), they went on to win another 20 games. Before that streak, they had gone on an 11-game winning streak after losing to Dallas.
If that was any sign of what may happen in the postseason, we should see the Spurs return to their winning ways without a problem.
While many overrate NBA Finals experience, there is no denying that the Spurs sure excel in it.
Tim Duncan and Gregg Popovich are both going for their fifth ring, with Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker going for their fourth.
Even Stephen Jackson knows what it's like to be a champion, as he was a part of the Spurs' championship team in 2003.
Even some of their younger guys have made trips to the playoffs before, so nothing on the big stage should fluster them.
Against teams like the Thunder and the Heat, this could prove to be key, as the majority of the members of those squads have never even touched a championship ring.
Miami folded under pressure last year, and against a team like San Antonio, the pressure may be even greater.
Expect experience to help drive them to the 2012 title.
"One for the thumb."
That is Gregg Popovich and Tim Duncan's goal this season. In what may be Duncan's last shot at a title, the have to take advantage of it, and Duncan knows that fully well.
After last year's early exit, the team came back this season more motivated than the last.
Now, with the excitement meter going off the charts in San Antonio, the Spurs have to be pretty excited.
They are the current favorites and know that full well, making them even more energized.
Now, they need to use that energy to help drive them to the title, as their motivation for a final ring is greater than any potential opponent.
League's Best Offense
The Spurs have been the most productive offense this season, both in the regular season and the playoffs.
Despite being a defensive-minded team for the past few years, the team switched up their style and transformed into one of the league's most dominant offensive teams.
With scoring coming from multiple players, the team reached the hundreds with ease and were able to be a bit more lenient on defense, as they knew that they would outscore them anyway.
While the remaining teams are better defensive teams than the Spurs have played so far, the Spurs are also a better offensive team than any of their opponents earlier matchups.
They will need to continue to score at a high level to win it all, something that they have done productively this entire season.