The San Antonio Spurs may have had fate on their side when an injury to Russell Westbrook in the Oklahoma City Thunder’s first-round playoff series against the Houston Rockets effectively stalled one of the most dynamic offenses in the NBA. Regardless, the Spurs have cruised through the 2013 NBA Western Conference Playoffs.
The Spurs began by sweeping a Kobe Bryant-less Los Angeles Lakers team in the first round. Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol and Co. put up a fight, but couldn’t beat San Antonio’s defense without Bryant’s offense.
Then, San Antonio took on the Golden State Warriors in the only series that they struggled in throughout the playoffs. The young, three-point minded Warriors gave them some match-up problems because Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry could create their own shots out of nothing. In the end, however, the experience and inside game of Tim Duncan led the Spurs to victory.
In the Western Conference Finals, the Spurs took on the Memphis Grizzlies, who a lot of people expected to put up more of a fight. However, Duncan and Kawhi Leonard shut down Memphis’s star players, Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph, and Tony Parker had an offensive explosion for San Antonio. The Grizzlies were swept, and the Spurs were headed to the NBA Finals.
If any team in the country can stop the Miami Heat from winning back-to-back NBA championships, it would be Greg Popovich and this Spurs team. This is going to be an NBA Finals series to remember, not only for Miami and for San Antonio, but the average NBA fan as well.