The San Antonio Spurs won the 2014 NBA Championship, but you wouldn’t know it by the lack of attention given to the champs since then. However, you won’t hear any complaining from South Texas as that’s the way the Spurs like it. Following injuries to Manu Ginobili and Patty Mills, the defending champs will likely be under the radar yet again in 2014-15.
A day after Mills was told he will need shoulder surgery and will be out seven months, it was reported that Ginobili will miss at least two months with a stress fracture in his right leg. While the former is bittersweet news for the Spurs as it increases the likelihood that Mills will re-sign in San Antonio, the latter isn’t a good sign for the team’s championship defense.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 2, 2014
After battling though injury and struggling during the Spurs’ 2013 Finals loss to the Heat, Ginobili bounced back in a big way with a great performance in the playoffs, and especially the ’14 Finals to help San Antonio to its fifth title. Ginobili will be 37 when the upcoming NBA season starts and staying healthy hasn’t exactly been his trademark throughout a Hall of Fame career.
Of course, Ginobili could be fine and come back with one last vintage performance in the final year of his contract, especially if he sits out the FIBA Basketball World Championships this summer. He’s the superstar for Argentina, but a 37-year-old with a stress fracture in his leg playing summer ball probably isn’t what Ginobili’s doctor is going to suggest.
Assuming Mills and Ginobili are both healthy and back to their high levels of production by the time the 2015 NBA playoffs begin, the Spurs could again be overlooked, even with the league’s best record entering the postseason. If that’s the case, don’t be surprised to see them contending for a sixth championship.