San Antonio Spurs: Ten Teams They Must Conquer For Championship Chances
With the most wins in the league, the San Antonio Spurs are looking like a much bigger threat.
At the beginning of the season, after their 11 straight wins, many were claiming that the Spurs had not faced a big team yet.
However, at 26-4, it can be said that they are possible championship contenders.
However the Spurs do have four losses, including a disappointing upset by the Los Angeles Clippers, a team that is 9-22. On a side note, three of their four losses were by less than 10 points.
And although the Spurs lead the league with the most wins, they still have to face very talented teams to get a shot at a fifth championship.
Their focus should be on the top 10 teams that could stand in their way and hinder their chances.
New Orleans Hornets
Their first loss came from what seemed like a very strong Hornets team.
However, after eight solid wins, the Hornets have slipped into a slump.
New Orleans, 18-13, will face the Spurs again this season, and if it means anything, they need to revive their team and hope for the same success—or hope that the Spurs re-sign another player as a distraction (Tony Parker had re-signed with the Spurs the same day they lost against the Hornets).
As long as Hornet’s point guard Chris Paul—the player who made an outstanding 25 points in their first meeting, sealing the win—continues pulling slightly lower numbers in points and court time, the Spurs might have a chance when the two Southwest teams meet again in January.
The Mavs came as the Spurs second loss.
The Mavericks might be the Spurs biggest competition in the Southwest.
The Mavs are currently 24-5 and are not going down without a fight.
As long as someone is covering Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki and the Spurs bring their best game, they should easily defeat Dallas in any future games.
Let’s not forget, the Mavs don’t have the championships to defend their talent or experience as a contender, and they still might have some unreleased nerves from their loss against the Spurs in Game 6 of the first round of the playoffs last year.
The Spurs slid by the Nuggets better then Houdini himself.
After a very close game and a final win by one point last week, the Nuggets will have a shot at redemption this week as they go at it again.
The remaining games against the Nuggets should be just as close as this last one because the Nuggets bring everything to the court. But Carmelo Anthony’s lack of certainty for his future might be the distraction that keeps the Nuggets from dethroning the Spurs.
The Utah Jazz only lost to the Spurs by 12 points in November. As a 21-10 team, they are one of the few teams in the West that are capable of giving the Spurs a challenge.
Oklahoma City Thunder
Like the Jazz, the Thunder are one of the stronger teams in the West, yet still not strong enough.
Although the Thunder have Kevin Durant, the one-man team cannot have enough force and confidence when playing teams that are having a terrific season so far, like the Spurs.
Los Angeles Lakers
It would only make sense to add the Lakers to this list, as they are the biggest threat to the Spurs personally (due to past championships and back-and-forth Western Conference battles with the Spurs for the last 10 years or so).
Although the Lakers are first in the Pacific Division, they are also third in the west (behind the Spurs and Mavericks) with a 21-9 record.
It’s obvious that, with an All-Star team and coach, the Lakers are favored in the West. However, they did just bounce back from a four-game losing streak, one that shouldn’t have happened to begin with, given their outstanding talent.
Will history repeat itself and will the Lakers dominate the West again? It’s doubtful, given the way the Spurs are handling their game.
The Spurs have played the Bulls once, but only won by nine points.
With another game in February, it’ll come off as a close one.
It’s hard to tell who will have the upper hand since the Bulls' high point scorer is always in the 30-point range, while the Spurs have a high 20-point range consistency. If the Spurs can keep Derrick Rose away from the line, all should be good.
New York Knicks
They should give the Spurs just as much trouble as the Bulls and other teams listed.
They haven’t faced off yet, but the game should be another win for the Spurs because the Knicks (18-12) have shown to be inconsistent on the court after a six game losing streak.
Yes, they have their Big Three and they are first in the Southeast with 23 wins.
However, they have definitely proved to lack consistency and strength during a game.
Interestingly enough, their 12-game win streak was just lost by two points to the aforementioned Dallas. Their hype was finally met, though, after they beat the Lakers on Christmas.
If the Spurs make it to the championship, it’s more than likely that they will face the Boston Celtics.
They lead the East with 23 wins and five losses.
They currently have a 14-game win streak and if it means anything, their next big challenge should be the Spurs at the beginning of January.
Spurs For The Win
Yes, the Spurs will face some challenges (hopefully more respectable than their loss to the Clippers), but regardless, they have the talent to prove everyone wrong and have another chance at a championship. Let’s face it, they just had their best scoring quarter against the Suns with 40 points in the third quarter alone…they seem at this point to be unstoppable.