With a lot of Gregg Popovich staff leave after other teams in the league hired them, the team also struggle. They missed the postseason for the first time in 23 years. Maybe adding another talented brain in the coaching staff could help the Spurs back to the playoffs slowly.
One of the guys who was known when the Spurs wins is Mike D’Antoni. The guy gives too much opportunity for the Spurs to become a huge winner. The Spurs faced his team six times in the playoffs and San Antonio recorded a perfect 6-0.
Let’s breakdown how D’Antoni helps the Spurs win.
First, D’Antoni was an assistant in Phoenix in 2003. While the Spurs became a top seed, the Suns on the final spot of Western Conference. They give the biggest challenge for the Spurs as they upset San Antonio in game one. But the Spurs recovered from that devastating loss and win the series in six games. That matchup gives the Spurs an edge to face the Los Angeles Lakers that they also dispatch on six games. Then the Spurs past the Mavericks and they win the NBA Finals in six games against the New Jersey Nets.
After the 2003 season, Phoenix Suns promoted Mike D’ Antoni to be a head coach. In 2005, they became the best team in the league, leading by their MVP Steve Nash. This time, Phoenix Suns had a home-court advantage against the Spurs. But the Spurs win the first two-game of the conference finals in the Suns’ territory. The Spurs went to finish the top seed Phoenix in five games. San Antonio went to the finals and win a tough battle against the Detroit Pistons in seven games.
In 2007, the Golden State Warriors upset the Dallas Mavericks in the first round of the playoffs. The second-seeded Phoenix Suns are popular to win but they face the Spurs once again. In the second round, it was a tough physical battle. Game four was a big moment as the Spurs have led at home with 11 points in the final quarter but the Suns found themselves on top by 3 points with 12 seconds remaining. Steve Nash wants to run out the clock after Manu Ginobili misses a layup. That moment, Robert Horry will foul him and he sends the guard to the deck. Boris Diaw and Amare Stoudemire leave the bench to confront Horry. The Suns won the game but they lose the series after Diaw and Stoudemire suspended for game five. The next two rounds for San Antonio became easy as they win their fourth title via swept.
The next season, Phoenix Suns had a disappointing start as they traded Shawn Marion to the Miami Heat in the trade deadline. The franchise settled for a sixth seed which is set to face the San Antonio Spurs. They’ve been favored to make an upset as the Suns acquired Shaquille O’Neal that helps the team to win games in a midseason trade. Fans were entertained in game one when it went to double overtime. But that’s all the Phoenix did, the Spurs win three of the next four games.
In the 2013 season, D’Antoni is the Los Angeles Lakers coach which swept by the Spurs in the first round. Every game never went close which was dominated by San Antonio. Five years later, Mike D’Antoni leading the Rockets but the Spurs victorious in six-game of their second-round showdown.
In that run of Spurs against D’ Antoni, San Antonio went to the Conference finals six times, NBA Finals four times, and win 3 NBA championship. So Spurs must keep him on coaching against the team to continue the tradition. Don’t fix it if ain’t broken.