Writer: Jameson White
It seems as though the San Antonio Spurs have been good for an eternity. They have been fortunate enough to have the one of the three greatest coaches in NBA history leading them for the past two decades. As the coach, he inherited David Robinson, one of the greatest Centers in league history. He and General Manager RC Buford picked Tim Duncan, the greatest Power Forward in NBA history, Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker, to set them up with the winningest trio ever. Popovich and Buford later traded for Kawhi Leonard, a two-time Defensive Player of the Year, giving up a young fan favorite in George Hill. This allowed the Spurs to win multiple titles and become a dynasty. However, this year they have been plagued by injuries since the start.
The Spurs were forced to play the first month and a half of this season without the services of Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker, two of their best players. Once they returned, Danny Green and Rudy Gay, two of the players that helped the Spurs survive the first month of the season, went down with injuries, and have been in and out of lineups. Kyle Anderson has been forced to miss games with lower body injuries, as has Joffrey Lauvergne, the team’s primary backup big man. Just this last week, it was announced that Kawhi Leonard had a partial tear in his left shoulder; Gregg Popovich, however, has said that he doesn’t think it will keep Kawhi out for an extended period of time.
Despite all of these injuries and less than half of the NBA season remaining, San Antonio is still sitting in third place in the Western Conference standings. This is a testament to the coaching and level of play that Lamarcus Aldridge and the Spurs’ role players have been performing at. It remains to be seen how much longer they can play at such a high level with injuries to their best players, however, there is one thing you can be sure of; the San Antonio Spurs can never be written off.