This season has been odd for the San Antonio Spurs. One year ago, they where limping into the playoffs finished as the seventh seed. They upset the Dallas Mavericks before being swept by the Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference Semifinals.
This year, with little lineup changes, the Spurs came out of the gates blazing finishing the regular season with 61-21 record as the number one seed in the Western Conference.
It’s not a stretch to say they dominated the regular season for quite a while. But like every team, the Spurs had some concerns. They relied on offense for the most part of the season, and never played the kind of defense they once had.
The same defense that won them four NBA championships.
As the post season approaches, hopes were high. Having home court advantage in the entire West would benefit the Spurs. The drive for a fifth title is alive!
However, just before the playoffs started, Manu Ginobili was injured on their final regular season game. It wasn’t that serious but he was hurt.
Looking ahead in the series against a young but talented Grizzlies squad, the Spurs opted to rest Manu in Game 1, choosing caution over recklessness.
Manu disagreed but had no choice.