FanPost

The San Antonio Spurs... your 2012-13 Southwest Division champions.


So here I am again with another hackneyed attempt at a FanPost. This time, I'm going to discuss the San Antonio Spurs within the context of its own division. Okay, maybe I was spurred (pun fully intended) by a certain comment about the Grizzlies, of all teams, winning the division. Here are the reasons why I think the Spurs are practically a lock to win the Division:

They have enviable chemistry.

Of all the teams in the Southwest, the Spurs have done the least tinkering with their roster. The level of roster overhaul ranges from "get all the vets off the roster" as the Houston Rockets have done, where it's very likely that at season's end Chandler Parsons is the player who has been a Rocket the longest, to the "we simply signed a Euro" as the Spurs have done. While some would say "they should have traded someone!" - and I would agree, actually, but PATFO are way ahead of us - the fact remains that the Spurs have only lost six times since a trade netting Stephen Jackson, even if four of those losses came at the worst possible time. So this means everyone on the Spurs roster knows each other's style and how they fit into Pop's grand schemes. Meanwhile the Grizzlies are adjusting to life without O.J. Mayo, while the rival Mavericks are adjusting to life WITH O.J. Mayo (and in turn are probably shaking their heads at his 0-7 performance against Erazem Lorbek's Barcelona). The Rockets and the Hornets have decided to embrace a youth movement, with Houston welcoming Linsanity and the Hornets hoping that teams fear the Brow. But it's a calculated risk, and I see neither of these teams making the postseason just yet.

They know who they are.

This is the corollary to the first point I made; that is, a team which knows its roles is a team that knows itself. The Mavericks don't know what to fit around Dirk Nowitzki, even if they found a formula that worked in 2011 (surround him with outside shooters and pair him with a defensive frontcourt) in favor of Mark Cuban tightening his pursestrings. They thus have a backcourt which could see a lot of improvement in terms of shooting the three ball, and a frontcourt that's good at putting the ball in the hoop but is average defensively. The Grizzlies don't know whom to give the ball to, even if it's clear that Zach Randolph should be getting the most touches and not Rudy Gay. The Rockets have maybe 7 or 8 power forwards on their roster and unless they go Nellie ball/reverse Nellie ball, there will be little to no playing time. The Hornets have a young core, but again shot distribution is a huge question, especially with Eric Gordon slipping in and out of the rotation.

Meanwhile, the Spurs know what their roles are. Tim Duncan is the defensive rock who can still get you 20 and 10 from time to time despite being an ancient basketball sage at this point, Manu Ginobili is the tricky Argentinian who makes all the winning plays, Tony Parker is a lightning-quick guard who scores seemingly at will - and has gained a gift of playmaking over the years, and the young folks like Kawhi Leonard are a sign of a bright future without jeopardizing the chemistry of the team. Even one-trick ponies like Matt Bonner know what to do: when the Red Rocket gets the ball beyond the arc, he shoots it (unless it's a game in April/May).

They have Pop.

One of the keys to the Spurs' success is a man named Gregg Popovich. As of now he's the longest tenured head coach with any team active, and leads all active coaches with 4 championships. His Xs and Os know-how and emphasis on fundamentals means that the Spurs' disadvantages are minimized while their advantages are maximized. Even if he's not the greatest coach of all time, I'd pick him to make a roster overachieve any day, and nothing can take that away from the Silver and Black.

And this is why I'm confident that even if the Spurs have a mere outside chance of making it to the Finals (especially since the deeper you go depends on how much the officials like you), they will win the Southwest.

This is fan-created content on PoundingtheRock.com. The opinion here is not necessarily shared by the editorial staff at Pounding the Rock.

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