San Antonio Spurs are still smarting over their stunning first-round playoff
loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. Now to make matters worse the Spurs have been
replaced as the top team in Texas by the newly minted World Champion Dallas
Mavericks captured the NBA title beating the Miami Heat in six games to bring
the title back home to the Lone Star State. As far as Tim Duncan and company
are concerned, the Larry O’Brien championship trophy is headed back to the
right state just not the right city
was supposed to be the Spurs year. They finished with the best regular season
record in the Western Division (61-21) and were just one-game behind Chicago
for the best overall mark in the league. However they suffered a stunning
first-round playoff loss to the Memphis Grizzlies and almost immediately the
chants of “Break up the Spurs” began.
Too old to compete?
Parker reportedly said the window for the Spurs to win another title had closed.
He later retracted the statement but that doesn’t mean there’s not a hint of
truth to it. San Antonio’s “Big Three” of Parker, Manu Ginobli and Tim Duncan
have four NBA championships and if they retired tomorrow their legacies would
be safe. But the Spurs are long in
the tooth and they might be the only
team that hopes for a NBA lockout and prolonged work stoppage as long as they
don’t lose the entire season. If that happens, look for Duncan to retire,
Parker to get traded and Ginobli to be playing in Argentina.
team in the league goes through its share of rumors be it trades or free-agent
signings or retirements. The Spurs are no different. There are reports that San
Antonio is shopping Parker who has hinted he’d like to play elsewhere. Ginobli
is reportedly considering a return to Argentina if the NBA imposes a lockout.
Duncan will return for another season but perhaps at less than the $21 million
dollars he’s set to earn. Depending on what the players give back to the owners
in the next collective bargaining agreement, Duncan will likely earn less as
will Kobe, LeBron, Dirk, etc. The new CBA will also determine things like
maximum contracts, contraction and rookie salaries. The Spurs really can’t make
plans for 2011-2012 until they know what new rules will be in place.
Can they do it again?
with everyone back and healthy, it will be tough for the Spurs to accomplish
what they did last season. With Duncan playing reduced minutes and games, Ginobli and Parker picked up
the slack. Parker led the team in scoring (17.5), field-goal percentage (51.9)
and assists (6.6). Ginobli was second in scoring (17.4) and was first in
steals. Duncan’s numbers have been on a steady decline since the ‘06-‘07
season. He averaged a career low 13.4 points per game but paced the Spurs with
nearly nine rebounds per game.
the subject of age comes up Spurs fans can point to some impressive team numbers from last year that point
to keeping the gang together for another season.
Antonio was sixth in scoring (103.7) first in 3-point shooting (39.7) and
fourth in field-goal percentage (47.5). From an NBA betting standpoint, the
Spurs were one of the best ATS road plays in the league going 25-15-1. San
Antonio also cashed as a road ‘over’ team going 25-16.
The Spurs are currently listed in the future betting
odds at 15/1 to win the 2012 NBA title. The list is headed up by Eastern
Conference champion Miami at 2/1. Derek Rose and the Chicago Bulls are listed
at 6/1 and then it’s the Thunder, Lakers and World Champion Mavericks at 7/1.
Make no mistake about it there will be a lockout.
But as long as it doesn’t cost them an entire season than the Spurs, more so
than any other NBA team, will benefit from the extra rest and shortened season.
In that case they’ll be changing the future odds several times between now and
next season. Whenever that might be!