|Written by Michael|
Bet on the NBAFinally, the Spurs are healthy and Tim Duncan is looking about 5 years younger than he really is. Thus, it was no surprise that San Antonio swept the Utah Jazz and did it in convincing fashion. After all, the Spurs had a lot to prove to the basketball world after last year's defeat to the Memphis Grizzlies, which made them one of the few top seeds in NBA history to lose their first round series.
But at the end of last year's regular season, Manu Ginobili broke his elbow and Tim Duncan was looking like David Robinson looking for his own Tim Duncan. This year, with all of the players healthy coming into the playoffs, the Spurs took four relatively easy games to defeat the 8th seeded Utah Jazz and carrying on a 14-game winning streak that extended to the regular season.
The health of this aging team may be the most surprising factor of all, despite the season-long obsession head coach Gregg Popovich has had with resting his starters, even to the point of leaving them in San Antonio for a few road games during the regular season. Check here to see the Spurs' odds in the next round and for winning another NBA title. He also managed to get his players a decent amount of rest during this first round, as they may have the deepest bench in the league right now.
The Jazz, on the other hand, were not expected to win this series. Surprising success would have been achieved if they had managed to win two games, and even pushing the series to a Game 5 would have been exceeding some expectations. The Jazz are a young team, however, and this was the squad's first appearance in the playoffs in several years, so expect them to crop up more often in the NBA betting news section of our site in coming years.
While the Jazz go home now, the Spurs will wait for the winner of the Grizzlies-Clippers series, which is looking to be a long, hard-fought first round. Whoever comes out of that one, the Spurs will still be the heavy favorites to win. While it would be great to see San Antonio purge last year's demons and play the Grizzlies, a battle of point guards between Tony Parker and Chris Paul would also electrify the NBA.