Mar 2, 2014; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs players (from left) Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili, and Tim Duncan during the national anthem before the game against the Dallas Mavericks at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

2014 NBA Playoffs: Previewing the San Antonio Spurs

Offensive Rating: 108.1

Offensive Factors

eFG%: 53.7% (2nd)                                                                                                                                                                                                                  ORB%: 22.7% (24th)

Defensive Rating: 100.1

Defensive Factors

eFG%: 48.2% (4th)                                                                                                                                                                                                                   ORB%: 23.6% (4th)

Starters: Tony Parker, Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, Tiago Splitter, Tim Duncan.

Key Reserves: Boris Diaw, Patty Mills, Manu Ginobili, Marco Belinelli.

Strengths: Where to start? They have arguably the best coach of all time in Gregg Popovich. One of the ten best players of all time in Tim Duncan, who is not in his prime but regardless a two way force. Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili  can attack on pick-and-rolls. The offense running through Manu, Tony and Tim is super good. When those three are on the court, they score 113.4 points per 100 possessions, which would be first in the league. Perimeter defense maestro Kawhi Leonard smothers wings and crashes the glass.

Marco Belinelli is an accurate scorer. Boris Diaw does a bit of passing, rebounding, defending and scoring. The whole nine yards. Patty Mills is awesome off the bench. Just like Tony Parker, he’ll kill you on pick-and-rolls. But he’s got range, too. Mills is shooting 42 percent on 3.9 attempts per game. Let’s not forget unsung starters Danny Green and Tiago Splitter. Green is lights out from behind the arc and Splitter is a tough defender and skilled passer.

This a team that is top ten in offensive and defensive efficiency. Only three teams did that this regular season — Oklahoma City Thunder, Los Angeles Clippers and San Antonio.

Weaknesses: There isn’t one thing that is glaring. The Spurs don’t get beat on the boards or three-point line. You aren’t going to get to the rim easily. It would be grasping at straws trying to cherry pick a statistic. But the one thing weakness I believe they have is defending rim attackers with three point shooting behind them. Another deficiency is when long, athletic defenders close off initial Spurs actions —  forcing them to go to the third or fourth option in a play. But who doesn’t have trouble with that? A team like Houston or Oklahoma City has multiple rim attackers and long defenders that can stifle them.

Threat to Win West?: Yes. It’s amazing what San Antonio has done this season after last year’s NBA Finals collapse. Expect them to be in the running.

Tags: NBA NBA Playoffs San Antonio Spurs

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