Was Skip Bayless’ Preseason Prediction Right? Will The San Antonio Spurs Go To The NBA Finals?
You know, Skip Bayless might not be crazy after all. At the beginning of this lockout shortened season, Bayless predicted that the San Antonio Spurs would be the team to come out of the Western Conference. With most basketball journalists picking young teams like the Los Angeles Clippers and the Oklahoma City Thunder to make it to the NBA Finals in a condensed, rigorous season, Skip Bayless sided with the grizzled veterans in San Antonio. He made this prediction on December 21st.
And most chuckled at the notion.
How could a downtrodden, weathered team persevere during a vigorous schedule that sees them playing back-to-back-to-back games? Last season, they had the best record in the West but were unceremoniously ousted by the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round. They looked old and simply unable to keep up with the younger teams.
No, Thiago Splitter wasn’t the difference-maker like Bayless predicted, but the Spurs hit the fountain of youth to again nab the best record in the Western Conference. They also added depth by bringing in Stephen Jackson and Boris Diaw. Meanwhile, Tony Parker played out of his mind and Tim Duncan proved that he still has what it takes as one of the best power forwards to ever play the game.
Not only that, they have the momentum as they charge into the Western Conference Finals. They have won 18 games in a row — their last 10 regular season games and back to back sweeps of the Utah Jazz and the Los Angeles Clippers. There were very few that predicted that they would get this far, but now how can you bet against them?
With the OKC Thunder positioning themselves for a slugfest with the Spurs, you have to really consider the Spurs to be the most dangerous team in the playoffs. Yes, the Thunder are hot as they bounced the Mavs in 4 and are on the verge of taking out the Lakers in 5, but the Spurs are just steamrolling teams.
The Heat? They are struggling to get past the Pacers right now. Considering them as the frontrunner is a bit much right now until Chris Bosh comes back.
If you look at the numbers, the Spurs are lethal. They were second in the league in team scoring, 9th in rebounds, 4th in assists and 16th in points allowed. Across the board they are dangerous. They are only the 4th team to sweep through the first two rounds of the playoffs in the current playoff format. They may not sweep the Thunder, but it is beginning to look like the winner of that series will be the next NBA champion.
Take a look at Bayless’ pre-season prediction on First Take below.