NBA Predictions 2011: The San Antonio Spurs Reach an End

Hayden KimCorrespondent IIIDecember 20, 2011

MEMPHIS, TN - APRIL 29:  Zach Randolph #50 and Marc Gasol #33 of the Memphis Grizzlies and Tim Duncan #21 of the San Antonio Spurs reach for a rebound in Game Six of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at FedExForum on April 29, 2011 in Memphis, Tennessee. 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 Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Clippers acquired Chris Paul and respect, the Golden State Warriors hired Head Coach Mark Jackson and the Memphis Grizzlies welcome back Rudy Gay.

But what have the Spurs done to prepare for the upcoming season?

Well, for starters, they signed rookie prospect, Kawhi Leonard, the talented forward out of San Diego State, and Corey Joseph, the talented guard out of Texas that was selected 29th overall in this year's draft. But other than that, the Spurs look to have the same 'ole team, which can't be good news for the Spurs organization.

With their star, Tim Duncan, at the age of 35, their star guard Tony Parker reaching the age of 30 and Manu Ginobli being 34, the Spurs don't have much to look forward to other than some hopeful prospects.

Their once upon a time championship team is now an aging grandpa sitting in his rocking chair.

Due to the shortened 66-game season, the Spurs can't expect to do well this year. With an increased chance of injuries and the potentially enhanced Western Conference, the Spurs may end up in the lower-tier playoff seeds—maybe even at the sixth or seventh spot.

It's going to be interesting to see how the West holds up and if Duncan and the Spurs can manage to give one last surprise before they entrust their future with another unexpected foreign talent.  

This will most likely be the Spurs last chance at a respectful season and it might as well be the end of one of the best runs in NBA history. We will for surely miss Coach Popovich calmly leading the Spurs to titles. We will miss Duncan's God forsaken—I mean beautiful—bank shots, Manu's borderline travel Eurostep and Parker's signature tear drops.

The Spurs were indeed one of the best teams in this last decade of basketball and it will be sad to see them begin their downfall.

Don't miss out on watching the Spurs play. Who knows how long this team will last—just look at the direction the NBA is going. Three superstars may end up reviving the Spurs as LeBron, Wade and Bosh did with Miami.

The Spurs may be heading downhill, but they sure did last a long time.