End of the Road?

By on May 7, 2015

 

The San Antonio Spurs lost game 7 111-109 in Los Angeles to end the 2014-15 season for the Spurs.  Tony Parker and Tim Duncan tried to stop Blake Griffin and the Clippers. What an amazing 15 year run for San Antonio. (photo USA TODAY Sports  Jayne Kamin-Oncea)

The San Antonio Spurs lost game 7 111-109 in Los Angeles to end the 2014-15 season for the Spurs. Tony Parker and Tim Duncan tried to stop Blake Griffin and the Clippers. What an amazing 15 year run for San Antonio. (photo USA TODAY Sports Jayne Kamin-Oncea)

The sun rises the east and it sets in the west.  The San Antonio Spurs just might have seen the final game of the Fantastic Trio known as Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobli and Tony Parker.  The loss to the Clippers in Game 7 of the first round of the NBA Playoffs exposed the Spurs.  No, it did not expose the spurs for a lack of fundamentals or selfishness or sloppy play.  No, it exposed the Spurs for something that each athlete (if they are lucky) one day has to address: Age.

In an era where teams have gotten younger, the Spurs have stayed the course, focusing on resigning current players and refusing to go out and sign over priced free agents.  In fact, the last time the Spurs signed a free agent was 2013.  The average age of teams in the NBA Western Conference is 26 years and 6 months, while the average age of the Spurs is 29 years and 2 months.  In fact, of the 5 Spurs starters, only one was born in the 1990’s, Kawhi Leonard (1991).

Alas, age catches up to all of us.  It affects us mentally and physically.  For athletes, it is more physical than mental.  Years of wear and tear begin to take its toll.  It becomes harder to race down the court, more time is spent soaking your aching body in ice baths than is spent practicing.  For the Spurs, the age was never more prevalent than this year, especially against the younger and faster Clippers.  Parker, Ginobli and Duncan each saw decreases in the amount of points each scored per game.  For Parker and Ginobli, it was their lowest points per game average since their rookie seasons in 2001 and 2002.  As for Duncan, it was his lowest points per game total since 2010.

Popovich said he thought all three would “probably return” next year.  Duncan and Ginobli are both free agents and Parker is under contract until 2018.  Retirement is more likely an option for either Ginobli or Duncan, both of whom are 39 and 37 years old respectively.

Let’s hope this is not the End for the Fantastic Trio.  If so, it was a fun ride…4 titles in the 13 years the group of Popovich, Duncan, Ginobli and Parker have been together.  They will leave the NBA as the winningest trio in NBA regular season history.  One more year is not too much to ask though and winning another title would be a perfect ending to this group of players who made the San Antonio Spurs the gold standard for basketball consistency.

 

 

Categories: Basketball, Featured, Sports
Tags: , , , , ,

0 Comments

You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment