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Spurs Peaking at the Right Time

Many factors come into place in order to explain the Spurs most recent success, but here are the four main reasons

The San Antonio Spurs have been on a roller coaster ride for the majority of the 2014-2015 NBA season, going up and down in many stretches and at times giving the perception they won’t even make the playoffs. They began the final stretch of the season losing four straight games after the All-Star break, with many key players injured (Tony Parker comes to mind) and showing a variety of inconsistencies on both sides of the ball. When all hope seemed lost, the Spurs did what they do best: regroup, adjust, and perform on a very high level once again, going on a six game winning streak that came to an end in thrilling fashion against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Nevertheless, their recent win streak and newfound consistency has made the Spurs once again a top threat in the harsh Western Conference. Many factors come into place in order to explain the Spurs most recent success, but here are the four main reasons for the Spurs peaking at the right time.

Gregg Popovich: a master in adjustments, Gregg Popovich has shown us why he’s the best coach in the entire NBA with the work he has done with this roster. Their formula was being figured out by many teams in the league, particularly the Atlanta Hawks, who have done a great job in mimicking the Spur’s style of play, and the old coach needed to re-invent his system once again, this time by creating lanes and shots for more players to exploit. A perfect example is Kawhi Leonard, who his level of play has elevated in this streak, averaging 22 points per game. Popovich continues to improve his old formula to get the best out of every player in the team, once again gathering the same positive results.

The return of Tony Parker: Tony Parker has not been himself for most of the season, playing with many injuries throughout the course of the year, missing many games in the process. The Spurs where notably affected by his absence and/or lack of production, him being of key importance when it comes to ball distribution (we’ll get to that soon). Now that his injuries are healing up, Parker has returned to his dominant form, attacking the rim with the same level of tenacity he once did, hitting great jump shots, and being the main distributor of the Spur’s offense. The Spurs need Parker in order to reach the playoffs in high form, and his level of play this time around will surely hint that he will be ready.

Ball distribution: the Spurs most lethal thread on offense has always been great ball distribution. Their ability to move the ball fluidly and consistently in order to create wide open shots has worked to their advantage throughout the years. This year, however, while still being a great passing team (6th in the league in assists), they were not distributing as effective as before (the absence/declining-performance of Parker is one reason). In light of their inconsistencies, Popovich began to create more distribution plays for their outside shooters in order to become more effective in the three point line and free out big men in the post. While not on the level they were last year, the results have shown they’ve gotten better in ball distribution, another piece of their technique they have fixed, which will sure help them down the stretch.

Perimeter defense: the Spurs have never had any problems defending the rim ever since Tim Duncan has been on the team, but their perimeter defense has been shaky at times this season, permitting wide open threes and not doing a great job one on one. They are now playing much better perimeter defense, creating turnovers by suffocating players one on one and forcing them to take bad shots. A perfect example on how well they’ve been playing defense can be shown when they played the Bulls, where they only shot 40% from the field and committed 20 turnovers, all partly due to the Spur’s new defensive strategies. It is of very importance for the Spurs to maintain this level of aggression throughout the remainder of the season, since playing solid defense is one the key factors of winning playoff games.


The Spur’s recent streak of success has been very impressive based on the level of competition they’ve faced, but the real challenged will come in the Western Conference playoffs, where they will face teams like the Warriors, Rockets, and Clippers, very great teams that can be tough on the Spurs through many angles. There’s plenty of basketball left to be played, which means there’s more than enough time for the Spurs to continue on with their great performance and reach the level of basketball they were playing last year, one game at a time.


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