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The Knicks Competition in the West – a Glance at the San Antonio Spurs: A Fan’s View

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The Knicks Competition in the West – a Glance at the San Antonio Spurs: A Fan’s View
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Tony Parker

As the New York Knicks prepare to take the court with their AARP (Association of American Retired Players) roster, it's time to take a peek at the competition for the 2012 season. Do you remember a time when the Knicks and their fans actually needed to keep an eye on teams in the Western Conference - potential Finals foes? Perhaps it's why the team acquired so many senior citizens, those who might recall when the Knicks were relevant enough to dream about that. Any rational list has to begin with the Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Lakers, though the latter is off to a rough start, but as usual, there are plenty of teams better in the West than most of the East. Here's a look at the San Antonio Spurs, likely the fourth best in the west.

San Antonio Spurs

Upside

Here's the grand upside to this year's version of the Spurs - Gregg Popovich. It was also last year's best news as well. Similar to Tom Thibodeau in Chicago, the Spurs are consistently better than they should be. Certainly, Tony Parker at point guard doesn't hurt. But last year, Manu Ginobli hardly played at all and the Spurs were virtually unbeatable. Good coaching, like defense, doesn't take many days off, so expect them to be a force gain in the Western Conference.

Unlike most teams with stars, the Spurs supporting cast plays more like equals. People like Tiago Splitter, Stephen Jackson, Boris Diaw, and Kawhi Leonard all play a significant role, and that generates confidence in close games, big games, all games. This is a team that moves seamlessly on the offensive side, and plays with technique and energy on defense.

Downside

At some point, the age on Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobli has to finally take a toll. It didn't last year, to everyone's surprise, but it has to, doesn't it? So they'll drop from first to fourth or so, but like any team with great coaching, don't write the script too early.

Glenn Vallach has been a basketball fan, player, and coach during his lifetime and, as such, an ardent follower of the NBA even with all its warts. He have also been a New York Knick fan since the days of Howie Komives and Walt Bellamy, when he regularly boarded the IRT Subway at 180th Street in the Bronx for a trip to the Garden to see his heroes.

Sources:

  • · Yahoo! Sports New York Knicks page
  • · Yahoo! Sports San Antonio Spurs page
  • · Yahoo! Sports Tim Duncan page
  • · Yahoo! Sports Tony Parker page
  • · Yahoo! Sports, Ball Don't Lie's 2012-13 NBA Season Previews: The San Antonio Spurs

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