After the San Antonio Spurs won 11 games in a row for the second time this year, ESPN NBA analyst Jalen Rose threw in his two cents on the Spurs’ chances at a title. On a scale of 1-10, he gave the Spurs a 7, saying that they need some help down low and that Oklahoma City is going to be a big “road block.”
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I’m going to go ahead and agree with Rose, but on one condition: that he doesn’t give anyone else a number higher than seven. The Spurs do have weaknesses and they do have a very tough road to get that championship but so does everyone else. Right now, I don’t think anyone has a better chance than the Spurs to win it all, but I also think the Spurs are tied with a few other teams.
Rose is right about the Spurs needing someone other than Tim Duncan to step up down low. The Western Conference is full of excellent big man tandems that could cause problems for the Spurs if guys like Splitter and Blair don’t step up. They could be looking at playing the Lakers or the Clippers in the second round, both teams with very talented duos down low.
He’s also right that the Thunder are going to be a big obstacle. Yes, I know the Spurs won the regular season series, and their experience and maturity will go a long way against the younger Thunder team. But the regular season numbers don’t mean anything in the postseason. Just ask last year’s Bulls team. They owned the Heat all year but then almost got swept by them in the playoffs. Especially if the Spurs don’t pull out the top seed, playing most of the games in Oklahoma City is going to be tough.
I said yesterday that I thought the Spurs had a great chance to win it all, and I still think they do. I may have even gone as high as 8 for the Spurs’ chances, but there are still a lot of reasons to be cautious. There’s definitely no lock in either conference for the championship. There’s a lot of basketball left to be played.
What do you have to say Spurs fans? Think Rose is correct about the Thunder should the Spurs face them in the playoffs?