The San Antonio Spurs and Golden State Warriors will tip things off today for the opening round of the 2018 NBA playoffs.
However, heading into the series, the Spurs are heavy underdogs versus the defending champs.
In the regular-season, the Spurs went 1-3 against Golden State, will not have home-court in the series, and will be without Kawhi Leoanrd.
Many looking at the series don't think the Spurs have a chance versus the Warriors based on their regular-season performance, having a very non-Spurs like season and lack of one of their main stars but don't tell that to Spurs guard Manu Ginobili.
In his article for La Nacion, Ginobili feels the Spurs can beat the champs despite the odds against them making it out of the first-round.
Two months ago against Golden State, we had no chance, today it is a little different. Anyway, we know that we did not go through our best time (this past season) either.
You have to be realistic and know what kind of season we had and the amount of injuries that we endured. In this context, we have to go to compete in the best way and we must improve to win road games. If we do not do that, we will not have chances. We are going to have to improve a lot to have possibilities, but we believe we can do it.
The Spurs will have to make dramatic improvements in the series especially on the road as Manu pointed out. The Spurs lost both road games to the Warriors this past season and only managed to muster 14 road victories overall. It was enough to see their 18-consecutive seasons of above .500 play on the road snapped.
They'll also need consistent offense from others on the squad outside of LaMarcus Aldridge who'll likely see double and triple-teams.
But having the right mindset is just one of the first steps the team will have to have in order to upset the No 2 seeded Warriors.
And leave it to the team's oldest player to put them in the right frame of mind.