The San Antonio Spurs are trying to win back-to-back championships for the first time in franchise history, but they'll face an uphill battle after losing to the Clippers in Game 1 of their first round series. They're still one of the favorites to come out of the Western Conference and win the title, but here are three more reasons why they won't:
3) Manu Ginobili's ineffectiveness
Ginobili has been San Antonio's ace in the hole off the bench during the past decade and a half, but he hasn't been the same this year. He's scored in double figures in just 11 of the past 35 games, and the Spurs really need him to be averaging around 15 points per game for them to be at their best. During their postseason run last year, Ginobili averaged 17.7 points per game, and he hasn't shown he can get back to playing at that level.
2) Struggles vs. athleticism
The Spurs are a very good team, but they’re older and don’t have a lot of speed or athleticism outside of Kawhi Leonard. San Antonio has had a lot of issues dealing with overly athletic teams throughout the regular season, and the Clippers exposed the Spurs' lack of quickness and rim protection in Game 1. Gregg Popovich’s defensive scheme can take away a lot of what other teams do well because of their tight rotations, but they struggle in one-on-one situations (other than Kawhi Leonard) or when a play breaks down.
1) Golden State Warriors
Even if San Antonio gets by the Clippers and then either the Rockets or Mavericks to get to the Western Conference Finals, they'll probably face the Golden State Warriors, who have had one of the best seasons in league history to this point. The Warriors proved they were head and shoulders above the rest of the league during the regular season, and the Spurs don't have the firepower to keep up with them throughout a seven game series.
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