3. Sometimes, experience just wins out
Let’s crunch some numbers.
Times the Spurs have missed Playoffs since drafting Tim Duncan: zero
Division Titles since the Southwest division was created in 2004-5: six
NBA Championships since Duncan was drafted: 4 (1999, 2003, 2004, 2007)
Add that to three sure-fire Hall of Famers all over 30 and having fantastic seasons on top of that age, and you’ve got the recipe for one of the most balanced and fundamentally talented powerhouses of the modern era of professional basketball headed by one of the best coaches of All-Time.
That adds up to a wealth of experience that can be difficult to overcome. The Golden State Warriors almost did. They almost took the Spurs out at their home arena in Game 1, and then pulled it off in Game 2. Take Stephen Curry’s tweaked ankle out of the picture, and maybe Game 3 goes their way.
This series was closer than most experts saw it being. The Warriors made this series their proving ground, and they did a fantastic job of showing their resilience. But sometimes, you just can’t run and gun your way past pure experience.