Life is hard when LeBron James isn’t on your basketball team. You play all these games, compete against top players all season, make a tremendous run to the NBA Finals, and then fall just short of beating the world’s greatest basketball player. Such was what happened to the San Antonio Spurs last year when their perfect record in NBA Finals was blemished by the Miami Heat. But even with all that heartache, life goes on, and the Spurs are on the verge of mounting another serious title run. Having amassed a franchise record streak of 18 wins, San Antonio looks ready to get over the hump and return to the top of professional basketball!
What’s so fascinating about this group is that they fly against all the traditional aspects of successful basketball teams. Usually dominated by 1 or 2 key figures, most NBA Championships are won by the superstars in the game like Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and of course most recently, LeBron James. But the Spurs have challenged this manner of thinking and have won it all with a full team effort from guys like Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker.
And while that famous trio is certainly a boatload of talent, they lack that imposing superstar personality that so often accompanies the usual “legends” of basketball. They succeed because they click so well as a group unit. They also have a strong supporting cast led by players like Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, Marco Belinelli, Patty Mills, and Boris Diaw. Parker may lead the team in scoring with 17 points per game, but that’s nothing like the LeBron-led Heat, where James averages nearly 27 points per game.
This marvelous team chemistry got the Spurs into the NBA Finals last year, and was the vital recipe for championship years of 2003, 2005, and 2007. Now 7 years removed from their glory days, the Spurs are entering last-chance saloon with their famed stars.
Ginobili and Duncan are both on the wrong side of 35 and Parker is already 31. With the twilight coming in they realize the necessity of performing right now. And that is exactly what has happened over their incredible run of 18 straight games. Along the way they have defeated two of the Eastern Conference’s top squads, the Miami Heat and the Indiana Pacers. This is no minor blip on the current season! The Spurs are in it to win it! Their 58-16 record stands far and away the best in the NBA, and they are blazingly hot this spring! Can they carry this run on into the NBA Playoffs?
Obviously the Spurs will lose some games before the season ends, but this run suggests that they are for real and that despite their growing ages, these players are still hungry for a final championship! Sure the Kevin Durant’s and LeBron James’ will be blocking their paths to glory, but the Spurs’ ability to work as a team represents one of the few clubs capable of pushing on to the ultimate glory in basketball despite not having a super talent. Let’s see if the San Antonio Spurs can fight on and win the 2014 NBA title!
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