Don’t look now, but the San Antonio Spurs are 21-5.
They are first in the Southwest Division, third in the Western Conference, and third overall in the league standings. The reason this is significant is because no one knew about the Spurs’ record and their rise in the standings. At least not as often as the NBA darlings, Indiana Pacers and Portland Trail Blazers.
It should goes without saying that the Spurs are one of the best teams in the NBA. Again. For the past decade. They beat you in scoring — 103.1, 8th in the league. And defense — 94.7, 4th in the league in points allowed. And they do it anywhere, 9-3 at home and 12-3 on the road. They make “good basketball” sound redundant and boring.
But, these Spurs are anything but boring. The formula is the same: “Big Three” Tony Parker, Tim Duncan, and Manu Ginobili set the standard with great motion on offense, high-percentage shots, and strong defense. The bench is always strong — 1st in the league in bench points. And, they have youngsters that learn from the veteran leadership like Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard. What makes them great makes them boring.
Last night’s thumping of Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena was another example. The word choice was on-purpose. Thumping a team at their home court without your three stars is the appropriate word and feeling. The Spurs emptied their bench as the starting lineup and still beat the Warriors at home, 104-102. Their leading scorers were Leonard’s 21 (12.3 points per game) and Marco Belinelli‘s 28 (10.2 points per game). That’s not only great production, but winning production. They freaking beat the Dubs at their own game on their own court when they used everyone (Andre Iguodala included!).
If you can’t appreciate the hush-hush ongoing story that is the San Antonio Spurs and their championship hopes, then you do not enjoy great basketball.
Tom Pennington / Getty Images North America
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