Friday, February 22, 2013

The Spurs Will Win the West

The Spurs are 44-12, four games ahead of the Thunder for best record in the NBA, and fundamentally do not get enough respect. The Spurs in the Pop/Duncan/Parker era have been two things: really good at winning basketball games and really bad at generating narratives. They are basically the exact opposite of the Knicks. Last night, they destroyed the up-and-coming Clippers by 26 points in the Staples Center. However, no matter what happens in the regular season, the Spurs will be dismissed by casual NBA fans for being boring and by die-hard NBA fans for not being able to do it in the playoffs. Here's the rub: the Spurs are the best team in the Western Conference and are going to make the finals.

The Spurs are going to win the Western Conference because they are better coached, execute their plays better, and are better at defense than the Thunder or Clippers. The emergence of Kawhi Leonard and Tiago Splitter this season bolstered their size and athleticism, a minor weakness of this team in past years. Additionally, Timmy is a top-5 big in the league and, yeah I'm saying it, Tony Parker is the best point guard in the world right now. When Tony isn't cheating on his Housewife with a teammate's wife or getting stabbed in the eye in a feud over Rihanna, he is scoring 20 points and getting 8 assists every single night.

The obvious retort here is that the Thunder beat the Spurs last season, so why won't they do it again? Well, that's a good retort, but the Spurs will win in the Western Conference Finals this year. If we recall, the Spurs dominated the Thunder for the first two games before the Thunder got all up in their joujou when Ibaka/Percorpse shot like 29 for 30 in Game Three to save the Thunder's season. That series was incredibly close just like the Western Conference Finals will be this year. However, the Spurs are better than they were last year and the Thunder are worse. Duncan's health, Parker's ascension to the throne of best PG, and the young guys getting better for the Spurs has somehow improved a team that went 50-16 last season. The Thunder might not miss Harden now but they will come playoff time when Kevin Martin is getting torched by Kawhi Leonard.

The Spurs may not be interesting and generate stories, but Pop, Duncan, and Parker are taking this team to the Finals this season. Sorry OKC. And to paraphrase Jay-Z in "Takeover," to all you other teams (LA, Denver, and Memphis) taking shots at Jigga, you only get half a bar, fuck y'all pretenders.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for not labeling the Spurs' play as boring, just the narrative surrounding the team, because the last couple years they've been unstoppable offensively. They just don't dunk all that much.