The Forgotten Team

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By Stefan Anderson

As the NBA season comes to end and the playoffs are set to begin, everybody has started to pick their favorite for the NBA Finals even their winner. The Heat are definitely the favorite win again and complete their 3 peat and the others believe it could be the Pacers or even the Thunder. What about the Spurs? Oh yeah, The Spurs, they’re good but their too old, they can’t do it again, they’re not going to win in the playoffs.  One thing the Spurs have that no other team embodies, consistency, whether it is in their criticism or their play, San Antonio is the model team in the NBA. 

The Spurs are currently 44-16 and sit 1.5 games the Western Conference leading Oklahoma City Thunder. A year removed from their first finals appearance since 2007, where they defeated Lebron James and his then Cleveland Cavaliers. The Spurs were a play or two away from locking up their 5 finals win in franchise history, all under Greg Popovich but fell short after a daggering 3 pointer by Ray Allen. But since the loss in the finals, The Spurs have not lost the pep in their step.

The San Antonio Spurs have remained the cream of the crop of the NBA for the past two decades and have not received any acknowledgment for their winning efforts. Some may chastise the Spurs “boring” fundamental style of basketball, but it remains clear that all they do is win. Their brand of basketball is not one you would not want to see on a consistent basis, for what I’m not sure, but they continue to play team basketball and make everyone around them better. Their boring brand of basketball still ranks them Top-10 in PPG, Assists and Points Allowed per game.

The Spurs currently do not have one player that averages over 20 points per game, which is impressive compared to each team that depends on one player to score all the points. Some complain and say where the star power for the San Antonio is, but they still have arguably the best PF ever in Tim Duncan still averaging a double double, one the best PG’s in the league in Tony Parker, the sometimes lackadaisical Manu Ginobli and the young budding star in Kawhi Leonard. It’s not about the star power in San Antonio, it’s the players like Patty Mills, Tiago Splitter, and Marco Belinelli that matter to the Spurs. They currently have 6 players that average double digits in scoring and are a great example of how to win as a team.

Since the 1999 season, San Antonio has not lost less than 50 games in a season. Their lowest win mark during that stretch was when they won 50 games in the 2012 season, where they ended up losing the young, hot Thunder teams that starred James Harden, Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant.  The Spurs not only have won during the regular season they have also reigned supreme in the playoffs as well. San Antonio has not missed the playoffs since the 1997-1998 season, while collecting their 4 championships during that era.

If winning doesn’t impress you then I don’t know what will. The Spurs look to be the underdog again this season after winning the Western Conference last year and remaining in the same position they were a year previous. They could make a big statement this in the playoffs again if health is by their side and could end up competing for a ring one more time, the 6th time in 2 decades. Tonight’s rematch of last year’s finals should be a great measuring stick for both the Spurs and Heat as they remain in their winning ways respectively. 

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NBA Trade Deadline: Was It Worth It?

By Stefan Anderson

After the All Star Break concludes, the real test of the NBA season begins when the last 30 games are played and playoff seeds are sealed. With that, you have teams that are gearing up for the playoff push and teams going for the complete opposite, rebuilding.  And in today’s NBA Trade Deadline came to end at 3 pm, some teams helped their chances, some were hesitant and some just stayed stagnant. With a plethora of trades that occurred during today’s deadline, I will elaborate and discuss the trade deadline. Here are you for the trade deadline awards.

Passing Me By Award: The Passing Me By Award goes to the team that failed to make a trade that can put them in the right position. This award goes to Houston Rockets and The Los Angeles Lakers.

  • The Houston Rockets failed to make a trade to acquire All-Star Point Guard Rajon Rondo. With the trade rumors circulating all week, Rondo would have joined a cast of James Harden and Dwight Howard to help propel the Rockets to Western Conference dominance. Although Rondo has not been the most interpersonal person in the past few years, his defense presence, playmaking skills and championship pedigree would have helped in the guard heavy West. When you get the playoffs and have to face guards like Stephen Curry, Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook and Damian Lillard, a player like Rajon Rondo would be a great guard to have on your team.
  • The Los Angeles Lakers are in the process of rebuilding and restricting their legacy and Kobe Bryant is in the waning moments of his career.  The Lakers are currently at the bottom of the Western Conference and are lottery ball bound. With a wealthy expiring contract of Pau Gasol, why not trade him for draft picks or a lesser value player. A draft to help the Lakers future to go along, with their upcoming lottery pick along with the luxury of getting Gasol contract off the books to bring in future stars(LeBron, Melo, Durant, Love)

Just The Right Fit: The Just The Right Fit award goes to the Washington Wizards and Golden State Warriors.

  • Washington has acquired veteran Andre Miller in a three way trade. Miller has always been a classy point guard until this season in Denver. His true point guard skills, unselfish ways and leadership can help the young Wizards as they make a playoff push.  The Wizards are currently sitting in 5th place in the East and with mentorship of Miller for John Wall can help lead the Wizards to the first playoff series win since 2005.
  • Golden State just traded for veteran point guard Steve Blake. Blake can provide that backup point guard role for All-Star Steph Curry, something the Warriors have been lacking since losing Jarrett Jack to free agency. Blake bring another shooter to already stacked Warriors team along with leadership off their young bench. Steve Blake could be that missing piece that can help Golden State win the West.

The Casino Award: The Casino Award goes to the Indiana Pacers.

  • Indiana has shown no sign of slowing after their game 7 loss to the Miami Heat in last year’s Eastern Conference Finals. Following an aggressive offseason where they added Luis Scola, C.J. Watson and Chris Copeland.  The blue-collared Pacers continue to put the pedal to the medal, after signing big man Andrew Bynum and now receiving young swingman Evan Turner. The Eastern Conference leading Pacers are looking to put all their chips into winning the Eastern Conference along with a NBA Championship. Trading for the younger, more productive Turner for their former star Danny Granger gives the Pacers that edge they need take the two time defending champion Miami Heat out of their throne.

The Golden Ticket Award: The biggest winner of today’s Trade Deadline goes to The Philadelphia 76ers.

  • Although they traded one of the premier players in Evan Turner, they received much more and put themselves in a great opportunity to rebuild as they look to do in the future. Trading for an expiring contract in Danny Granger worth 13 million along with acquiring 5 draft picks through their active day during the trade deadline. With the emergence of rookie Michael Carter-Williams, the return of lottery pick Nerlens Noel and a lottery pick in this year’s draft, the Sixers are in great shape to build a great future through the draft along with free agency.