While we’re pretty sure it’ll be Detroit, we’re not sure who will win the Eastern Conference. We know there’s only one capable team at a distance (whatever the standings say) to be number one in the West, and that’s the San Antonio Spurs. At 5:03 p.m., who in western America can stop this freight train?
Few teams have reached Spurs’ level of depth. While the Pistons’ bench is suspect in length, San Antonio is deep enough for Glenn Robinson on the inactive roster. Michael Finley and Nick Van Exel did an adequate job with Barry, Horry, Nesterovic and Beno Udrih backing the top five. Other than Robinson, everyone on the bench is playing for cheap money. So not only can San Antonio get a great bench, they can afford it.
The starting five is what you would expect. Duncan, Ginobili and Parker all have to be stars, there is no exception. Tony Parker readjusted his shooting approach to complicit in his penetration. Ginobili and Duncan are the usual suspects, but what about Bruce Bowen No. 2 in the League in 3P%. If Tim Duncan entered the league with the same level of hype as LeBron James, Duncan would get comparisons with Malone and Abdul-Jabar for the Biggest Big Man.
The Spurs continue their strong defensive trend with the 5th fewest points allowed in the league. There has been a gap at the Center since David Robinson left, but Spurs are still 4th in total rebound. They are an old team and play at a pace on a half court. Still, it’s strange to note that San Antonio is 29th in the NBA in free throw attempts. They can get away with it since they made the outside jumpers and are 10th in the NBA at 3P%.
Overall, they’re the best team in the Western Conference. The Phoenix Suns will have won Stoudemire too late in the year to propel them to first place. Miami and San Antonio have made numerous off-season deals after having had successful 2005 seasons. Miami has players who have come in for a quickie and money championship. Spurs have signed contracts with inexpensive players who have left their egos at the door. Finley and Van Exel have been solely dedicated to the championship ring and play for the squad which we haven’t seen from the Heat.