There are only a handful of teams in the league today that can really say they are battle tested in the playoffs. Obviously there is the defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers, who have battled adversity over the last three years and then some, but the only other team in the Western Conference that comes close to Kobe Bryant and company in comparison is the San Antonio Spurs.
With four NBA titles in the last 11 years, the San Antonio Spurs have been arguably one of the most dominant teams in the league and always seem to have a tough, gritty basketball team ready to fight for every loose ball in order to get back to title contender status in the league.
It was only a couple years ago when the San Antonio Spurs swept LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals, but since then they have really started to show signs of slowing down as Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili are no longer young bucks and quite possibly on the downside of their careers.
Whenever team in the NBA looks at a playoff deficit as big as the one that the San Antonio Spurs face against the Phoenix Suns, the series is basically considered over and people are already saying the Suns will be headed to the Western Conference finals. The most likely outcome in this series is that the Suns will advance because coming back from a 0-3 deficit is damn near impossible, but the San Antonio Spurs have that “IT” factor that a lot of teams in the league don’t have and are as resilient as they come.
All you have to do in this series is look at Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich who is arguably one of the best coaches in the league today. Not only is this head coach extremely optimistic, but he has the respect of his players which is something many coaches around the league cannot say. Popovich has the longevity, the titles and the never say die attitude that you need going into an elimination game down by three games.
The Spurs aren’t getting any younger, that is painfully obvious that just the way things go in any professional sport when superstars start to age, but at the same time, the Suns aren’t getting any younger either. Steve Nash is without a doubt on the downside of his career just the way Tim Duncan is, but the difference in my opinion in a series is the experience and the four NBA titles the San Antonio Spurs have to show their resilience.
In my opinion, the Phoenix Suns will be the team to move on because of the fast pace, three point shooting and Jason Richardson. All those factors just seem to be too much for the aging San Antonio Spurs to handle. Even with that being said, I do believe Tim Duncan and company will make a series by winning the next two games and putting the pressure solely on the Phoenix Suns.
Do the Spurs have a chance to win this series?
No doubt my mind they have a chance to win this series, but winning four games in a row is no easy task and might be just too much for the San Antonio Spurs.