9-0, 13 of 14, first place in the Western Conference…
Really, “Week in Review” doesn’t do the Spurs justice.
Okay, this week was significant in that the Spurs welcomed newcomer Kurt Thomas into the lineup (more on that later) and saw a healthy Tony Parker retake the starting point guard spot.
It was also significant in that they beat nemesis Dallas by three, beat Milwaukee in the final seconds, and came back from a dismal start against Atlanta. It was significant in that the Spurs have effectively silenced the critics who thought that San Antonio was not the top team in the West and does not have a chance to repeat.
“Month in Review” for the month of February (throw in the end of January and the beginning of March too) would be a more fitting title for this article.
Over this stretch of great basketball, which included the end of the infamous “Rodeo Road Trip,” the Spurs only gave up more than 100 points once, which was during a win against King James and his highness’ not-yet custom, Wally Szerbiak-ed, pimped-out Cavs. This is a clear measure that the defense is working on all cylinders, a sign that the Spurs have hit their stride and are not looking back.
Sure, they may want to look back at the Yao-less Rockets (winners of 14 straight, and losers of the Great Wall), the are-you-Kidd-ing-me Mavs, and the Sun-ny-side-up-with-a-side-of-corned-beef-Nash-and-a-decaf-Shaq Phoenix club. And don’t forget about Kobe-on-the-Gas-ol-grill in Los Angeles. (Have you had enough of this yet?)
These other teams may have made a big splash, but the fact that the Spurs did not change the fabric of their team at the trading deadline and stuck with their core guys may work in their favor. (Hey, it looks like Brent Barry found his way back to town!)
Although Kurt Thomas could run with the other guys in silver and black right away, Coach Gregg Popovich is generally slow to give newcomers a lot of minutes. Pop needs to make sure the new guys learn the system and will play defense before he can trust them.
Look for more great play from San Antonio en route to the playoffs. A streaking Manu Ginobili, a consistent Tim Duncan, a healthy Tony Parker, and a quiet, hard-working, and talented supporting cast are poised to hoist another NBA title in Bexar County, Texas.
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