The ‘Drive For Five’ starts Sunday, as the San Antonio Spurs host the Los Angeles Lakers in game one of the Western Conference playoffs at the AT&T Center. I can sit here and break down the Los Angeles Lakers and what we need to do to contain the Kobe-Less team but to be honest, I am not worried at all about the Lakers.
What I am worried about is the teams health.
As it has done every year for the San Antonio Spurs, the grueling 82 game season that the NBA puts forth with the teams has taken a toll on the Spurs main players. Manu Ginobili, Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Kawhi Leonard and Boris Diaw have all missed games this season with injuries. As you can see, the four listed are key players for the success of the team.
With missing just one, the offense is depleted. The flow of the game is not the same. The last few games what sticks out to me the most is when Ginobili went down. A key player coming off of the bench, you can tell where he is missed on the floor. He is a playmaker. What he does on the floor makes everyone around him better. Unlike others on the bench, he can create his own shots. He attacks the rim, takes contact, and does it with emotion.
I am not taking anything away from Tony Parker. Parker is this teams leader. I am surprised that Parker is not injured more. What I mean by that is that he goes into the lane with reckless abandon and takes the contact every single time. I do not think that there is a time that he can drive the line and not take any contact. Strength.
This team can be scary. One way that can happen is if they stay healthy.