Spurs Deserve More Respect

During the NBA Finals, Rey Moralde of The No Look Pass will be contributing to Project Spurs during the San Antonio Spurs' chase for title number five.
The San Antonio Spurs are getting a lot of rest. By the time they get to Game 1 of the NBA Finals, they would have a total of nine days off, which can really only be good for the old bones (by NBA standards) of Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and even Tony Parker.
What I don't get is when some people thought that the Spurs had an "easy path" to the NBA Finals. 
We all know how tough the Western Conference is. But even with the awful injuries that happened, the Spurs didn't seem like overwhelming favorites in each of the rounds that they played. When the Kobe-less Lakers got into the playoffs as the seventh seed, some people thought that the Lakers could pull off the upset. But the Lakers were only deadly in name and they easily got wiped off the first round in a sweep as their inferior play showed and the injuries continued to mount.
There was the new NBA darling, Stephen Curry, leading the Golden State Warriors to the second round. When the Warriors won Game 2, some were saying how the Warriors had better pieces than the Spurs and that they should be able to win the series. The Spurs solved that problem in six games.
And then there were the Memphis Grizzlies, who beat the Russell Westbrook-less Oklahoma City Thunder. The Grizzlies defense was certainly championship-caliber. But they couldn't solve the Spurs' inside defense themselves and were shockingly swept out of the Conference Finals themselves.
I'll admit to saying that the Lakers without Kobe really did not stand a chance against the Spurs. But the Warriors and the Grizzlies are very good squads; they showed it throughout the postseason. Let's give the Spurs a little respect here, though. Easy path? Some "experts" picked the Spurs' opponent in every single round. Now they're saying they had it easy?
Yes, they're healthy but maybe the Spurs were just that much better against their opponents. The Grizzlies were certainly healthy; some people were already talking about how the Grizzlies would match up against the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals. But we really should give the Spurs more credit for figuring out their opponents and for playing wonderful basketball.
If the Spurs go on to win their fifth championship, they will certainly get that much more respect. And few will remember the path it took to get there.