San Antonio Spurs News

Kevin Durant’s Injury is Season’s Biggest Opportunity for San Antonio Spurs

By Ryan McCallum
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In the NFL coaches typically break down the 16-game season into quarters.  Win each quarter, and you are in the playoffs.  A simple plan.

The 2014-2015 defending NBA Champion Spurs must adopt the same philosophy this season.  Break the 82-game regular season into 20 game increments.

With reports indicating that reigning NBA MVP Kevin Durant’s right foot is broken, resulting in a 15-20 game recovery period, there is no more important ‘quarter’ for the Spurs to win than the first.

Oklahoma City has realistic sights again on the NBA Finals.  Last year, against the Spurs, they were undermanned due to an injury to Ibaka, yet still played them tough with big-man Steven Adams.

The Thunder are an exciting team with two of the more explosive players in the NBA, Westbrook and Ibaka, and a top-three performer in Durant (Kobe and LeBron being the other two).

Oklahoma Cty, one the league’s best teams, will be in the Western Conference Playoff mix until the end.  An experienced team like the Spurs will seek to avoid them as long as they can in the Playoffs.  To do so, San Antonio must get off to a great start.

You’ve heard the adage that you cannot win a season in the first month, but you can lose it.

With Kevin Durant’s broken right foot resulting in a 15-20 game recovery period there is no more important ‘quarter’ for the Spurs to win than the first.

While I am not insinuating that San Antonio is in danger of losing the West in the first 20 games of the year, I am saying that the Thunder are in seriously vulnerable.

With the Oklahoma City’s anchor, Durant, out for the first quarter of the year, they can actually slide to the back of the line of serious championship contenders in the West.

We shouldn’t expect that too many of the usual suspects will take a step back along the way to allow OKC to climb back in the mix.  In the first 20 games, the Thunder match-up against: Portland, LA Clippers, Houston, Golden State, Memphis, and a surprising New Orleans squad.

Without Durant, those are six losses or at least games in serious jeopardy.

For perspective, the Spurs, last year’s number one seed, lost only 20 games.  In their first 20 contests, the Thunder also have three back-to-back games.

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If they come out firing this season, the Spurs can put a real distance between themselves and the rival Thunder.  By keeping a winning streak alive, that started in Game 3 of last year’s Finals, San Antonio could separate themselves from a serious contender before their season really starts – one with Durant back in the fold.

For the Spurs it begins on October 28 against a retooled, and scary-good, Dallas Mavericks team.

What do you think will be the effect of the Kevin Durant injury on the San Antonio Spurs? Let us know in the comments!

Also, don’t forget to follow Air Lamo on Twitter @AirAlamo for all your San Antonio Spurs needs!

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