Without Manu Ginobili the Spurs had got of to the worst start in franchise history. Then an injury to Tony Parker made things seem bleak for the veteran squad to re-surge.
Yet Pop and the gang never shook. Ever so resilient, led by Tim Duncan, the Spurs were able to reel off a couple winning streaks and keep their heads above water while their stars were out.
After Ginobili and Parker returned the Spurs righted the train and took their seat back at the top of the division. Now at 28-13 the Spurs look to continue their stellar play through the second half but it wont be easy.
3. The Bench
San Antonio almost always outscores the other teams benches because of super sub Manu Ginobili but as the season progresses players are going to have to step up. The NBA season takes its toll on a player and while Popovich does a great job managing minutes, the Spurs aren't getting any younger.
It will be crucial for guys like Kurt Thomas and George Hill to come in, score and play defense while the stars rest.
2. Manu's Ankle
Scoring 20 or more points three times in his last five games, "He's starting to look like the old Manu," Popovich said. Spurs fans are excited to see the explosiveness back in the Argentines whirling dervish game but Pop and Manu must be careful to not force too much action cause as it showed in last years playoffs.
The Spurs can't play at a high level with their star guard. So San Antonios season goes as far as Ginobili's ankle will take them.
After playing the Nets tonight at home San Antonio will play 11 of the next 12 on the road. Of the 11, eight of the teams are playoffs team from last season. The Spurs will face the Lakers, Cavs, and Boston each twice as well as three match ups with New Orleans.
The Spurs are a second half team and usually pickup their game after the all star game but it will be no easy task. If San Antonio keeps rolling like they have been their headed for another collision course with the Lakers in the Western Conference Finals again.
The Spurs will need a huge series from the Big Three and a solid bench play to get past the west leading Lakers