During the 2010-2011 NBA campaign, the San Antonio Spurs dominated the Association for most of the season; only to fall into a tailspin towards the end of the regular season; which almost cost them the number one seed in the Western Conference. As it turned out for San Antonio, being the best in the West during the regular season was not much help in the Playoffs as they went home after the first round as they lost to the eighth seeded Memphis Grizzlies.
There was conjecture that the Spurs would break the team up after last season’s early exit, as in every city that heads home for the summer earlier than NBA observers had predicted; with talk of Tony Parker being sent packing and elevating young talented point guard George Hill into the starting lineup. Instead it would be Hill who was sent to the Indiana Pacers; starting for the Pacers as they take on the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference semi-finals, while the Spurs have not regretted the move.
General Manager R.C. Buford and bench boss Gregg Popovich did not blow the club up last summer, instead they brought in some young athletic players and later in the season they added two seasoned veterans in Stephen Jackson and Boris Diaw to help them in the stretch drive. With Diaw joining Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, talented young guard Daniel Green and rookie forward Kawhi Leonard in the starting lineup; the Spurs overtook the Oklahoma City Thunder and once again ended the regular season with the best record in the Conference.
This season San Antonio has taken full advantage of being the number one seed in the West as they have swept through the first two rounds of the Playoffs, needing only eight games to defeat the Utah Jazz in the first round and sending the Los Angeles Clippers to their summer homes in the semi-final series. Sunday may have been their biggest test of the Playoffs so far and they passed with flying colors; as they took the second of two games at the Staples Center after winning the night before.
The Spurs now wait to see whom they will face in the Western Conference Finals with the Thunder leading the Los Angeles Lakers by a 3-1 margin in their match-up. The first eight wins were relatively easy for the 2007 NBA Champions; we will soon find out if they can capture eight more.