Five Reasons the San Antonio Spurs Will Win the 2013 NBA Championship
Five Reasons Why the San Antonio Spurs Will Win the 2013 NBA Championship
The San Antonio Spurs will win the 2013 NBA Championship. There, I said it.
There are plenty of reasons why this is the case, and if their NBA leading 36 wins through the team's first 47 games isn't enough to be a believer, then I don't know what to tell you. The Spurs may arguably be the NBA's most boring team, but they'll be happy to bore you to death if they continue to tally W's night-in and night-out.
The Spurs are winning the way they have always won, but in a more refined manner -- using tenacious team defense, balanced scoring and an overall force of will that more often than not is greater than their opponent's on any given evening. The Spurs aren't getting any younger, and it's this very sense of urgency that is making them as dangerous as they ever have been. Tony Parker, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili realistically have a few productive and capable years left between them and as grizzled veterans they're well aware that there's no better time than now to leave it all out on the court.
The Oklahoma City Thunder will continue to nip at the heels of the Spurs as the second-half of the season gets underway following the All-Star break -- and may just overtake them in the regular season -- but the Spurs could care less. They're already starting to position themselves for the post-season -- seeds be damned.
Click through and enjoy five reasons why we think the Spurs will win the 2013 NBA Championship. Enjoy!
Tony Parker is Back in a Leadership Role
Even after his bizarre eye injury suffered in a night club kerfuffle with rapper Drake, long-time Spurs floor leader Tony Parker is making a huge impact on a team that has developed some first-class chemistry. Leading the team in scoring at 20.1 points per game in around 33 minutes per game, Parker is looking to score the ball more often than he has in the past, but is still getting his teammates involved, averaging a team-leading 7.5 assists per game -- good for seventh in the league in assists per game.
Put those two stats together, and Parker is responsible for around 35 of the Spurs' 104.4 points per game. In other words, as long as he stays healthy, it's a good omen -- not only for Parker but for the leadership he provides to a team that has come to take it for granted -- in a good way.
Gregg Popovich Continues to Help the Team Win Games
Regardless of whether you are his biggest fan, if you understand basketball you have to admit that Spurs coach Gregg Popovich is one of the best in the business. While General Manager R.C. Buford has provided "Pop" with a wonderful array of pieces to work with, it's how he's used these pieces that continues to make the difference between W's and L's for the Spurs in tight situations.
Pop will help the Spurs win a few games which they probably shouldn't just because of decisions made at the right time. I'd be willing to put money on that.
Overall Team Defense Will Be a Difference Maker
Team defense wins championships. Period. This one isn't really debatable.
Allowing only 96.3 points per game, the San Antonio Spurs are tied with the New York Knicks for the 6th best team defense in the NBA. The only other Western Conference teams ahead of the Spurs are the Los Angeles Clippers (93.3 PPG) and the Memphis Grizzlies who lead the league, giving up only 89.2 points per game.
This bodes extremely well for a Spurs team that is also averaging 104.4 points per game on the offensive side of the ball. In short, the Spurs will always have a slight advantage against Western Conference foes -- enough of an advantage to help them to big wins on the biggest stages in the Playoffs.
Balanced Scoring Across the Board
Balanced scoring is another good marker of strong team chemistry and the Spurs have it with seven players averaging more than nine points per game, led by Tony Parker (20.1) and Tim Duncan (17.5). This type of balanced scoring is massive in the playoffs because it suggests that anyone can go off on any given night and be the X-Factor needed to help the team win close games down the stretch.
Parker, Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Tiago Splitter, Gary Neal, Danny Green and even Kawhi Leonard have the ability to have breakout evenings and carry the scoring load -- picking up the slack of their teammates in the process. There's no Kobe Bryant here, folks, and that's a good thing.
The Heightened Sense of Urgency for an Aging Team
The more veteran the team the greater their sense of urgency -- it's a simple equation. A team with the average age of 26.3 years is deceiving because their core is getting up there all well into their mid-30s. For the Spurs, the time is now. That sense of urgency from one night to the next can give a veteran team that edge -- the desire to win loose balls, offensive rebounds, play aggressive defense and do all the little things which younger teams see as "uncool".
The Spurs may not be as cool as the Clippers, Thunder, or Heat, but they'll be happy to bore you to death as they win the 2013 NBA Championship.