5 Reasons San Antonio Spurs Will Thrive in 2012-13 NBA Playoffs
Tim Duncan hasn't had enough of the NBA. It's fair to assume that the NBA has had its fill of Mr. Fundamental.
Gregg Popovich is one of the best coaches in the entire league, and the 13 consecutive 50-win seasons back him up. It's hard to argue with that success.
Sure, San Antonio could be nearing the end of its Duncan/Parker/Ginobili dynasty under Pop's leadership, but it doesn't mean that 50-plus wins can't come again this year.
The odds may not always be in the Spurs' favor, but not everyone can be a character from The Hunger Games.
Here are five reasons why San Antonio can succeed in the 2012-13 playoffs.
1. Gregg Popovich
From Boris Diaw—a veteran supposed to be on the decline—to Danny Green—a role-playing guard before coming to the Spurs—Popovich finds each player's niche and uses it to the team's advantage.
Check the "star-studded" benches Pop had in each of his four NBA titles during his tenure in San Antonio.
2. Patty Mills
The point guard from St. Mary's was relatively unknown last season.
After the Spurs had locked up the top spot in the Western Conference, Patty Mills was given a chance to start the last two games of the year. All he did was score 61 points and tally 17 assists.
This guy plays only in garbage time? Talk about a team with massive depth.
3. Kawhi Leonard
He may not have been Bruce Bowen, but Kawhi Leonard was a solid defender in his rookie campaign.
After being acquired from the Indiana Pacers on draft day, Leonard was given the unenviable task of guarding the superstars from opposing teams.
But with two full seasons under his belt, the San Diego State product could start to cause some real issues for the top-tier scorers in the NBA.
4. Tim Duncan
As long as Mr. Fundamental stays healthy for the duration of the season—and there is no reason to suggest that he will not—the Spurs will still have one of the best veteran big men in the NBA.
His age is a concern, but it isn't as if Duncan is no longer productive or lacks effort.
Yes, when a box score states "DNP- Old" it merits a laugh or two, but Timmy should have some good basketball left, and he always cranks it up come playoff time.
5. Why Not?
Could this be the season that the Spurs struggle? Absolutely.
Is there any proof? Absolutely not.
Speculation is merely speculation, but facts are facts. This will be the fifth season since San Antonio last won a title. But the last four playoff results have been losses in the opening round once, semifinal once, and conference final twice.
No huge indication of regression there.
Even with the superteam in Los Angeles and a talented Oklahoma City squad, the Spurs are top three in the Western Conference and have the talent to beat any team in a seven-game series.
San Antonio has a fantastic coach, veteran big man, floor general, defensive specialist, upstart bench player...
Could be pretty loaded, eh?
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