San Antonio Spurs: Do They Have What It Takes for the Playoffs and Dallas Mavs?

Denise CharlesContributor IIIMarch 28, 2011

DENVER, CO - MARCH 23:  DeJuan Blair #45 and George Hill #3 of the San Antonio Spurs sit on the bench against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center on March 23, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. The Nuggets defeated the Spurs 115-112. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

The San Antonio Spurs have had their ups and downs on the court. Similarly, they have had their ups and downs with rumors and beliefs by viewers and commentators.

With less than 10 games left in the regular season, all the questions can start to be answered and put to rest. Were the San Antonio Spurs an untouchable, NBA Finals contending team all season?

After three straight losses on the road against the Denver Nuggets, Portland Trailblazers and Memphis Grizzlies, the Spurs may finally be falling into the tired slump that so many had claimed they would at the end of the season.   

Unbelievably enough, this question could have been answered before the three losses. The Spurs (57-16) have received 10 of their losses after the half-way point of the season since January. For those that aren’t mathematicians, that means: three-fourths of their losses have accumulated over a short three-month time span. 

Those statistics alone show that the Spurs’ season has declined with a snowball affect style. Needless to say, three out of their nine remaining games are against teams they have already fallen short to. 

With their fast downfall, another question comes up: do they deserve to be in the playoffs?

After a breathtaking start to the season, many were fighting over the Spurs rights to the playoffs and claimed that they had what it took to be in the Finals.  However, after such a rapid demise, many are claiming that they don’t have what it takes to be in the Finals, more so the playoffs. 

Well, with a record like that, who’s to argue? The Spurs have lived up to the negative hype and given the non-Spurs fans the show they want. Yes, we can blame it on the short-lived injuries of Tony Parker and Tim Duncan, but in reality, a lot of the big teams have had the same misfortunes. 

One example would be the much overlooked Dallas Mavericks.

Are they going to be able to fend off the Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Lakers in the end or choke and get tired in a seven-game series?

Yes, the Spurs have quickly spiraled downward, and yes, they did start the season better than the Mavericks and Lakers.  But, the way things are going now—well, it wouldn’t surprise me if the Spurs didn’t make it past the first or second round. 

The Lakers (52-20) have had their fair share of losses.  Regardless, they have proven consistent throughout the season, with only nine of their losses coming after the half way point in January. 

And as many know, the Lakers have this magic trick they do during the playoffs—it’s what we folks in Texas call “Go Big or Go Home.”

The Lakers, despite how they do during the regular season always go big during the playoffs, leaving no room for the other teams in the West to compete on their level. 

As for the Mavericks, they have had their inconsistency in the playoffs—meaning, they are never a threat for the Finals. However, every team has to start some time, right?

They’ve only accumulated seven of their 21 losses after the half-way point (this meaning that they’ve improved their game and record).  Likewise, they’ve been one of the only teams to beat both the Spurs and Lakers. 

So, to make a long story short, are the Spurs deserving of the playoffs? Well, yes. 

Even though they are starting to slip and fall, they were still able to hold their ground at the beginning of the season when other teams weren’t. Are the Spurs the untouchable team of the year? No.

Their end of the season slump has shown that they are just as vulnerable as all the rest. If anything, it shows they are more vulnerable because players are starting to get tired and injured—right when the going is getting tough. 

If they can find their niche and get the mindset and physical capabilities they had at the beginning, then fair game for all.