How To Make the Rejuvenated San Antonio Spurs Watchable for Casual NBA Fans
I opened up this article by lighting my pants on fire.
San Antonio is, in fact, not boring. The Spurs are actually everything you look for in an NBA team—provided you actually know what to look for.
Fans are captivated by LeBron James and the Miami Heat, Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder and Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers, and rightfully so. But what makes the Spurs so different? Age? Athleticism? The fact that certain players prefer supper over dinner?
I'm sorry, but that's not just insufficient, it's undeniably fallacious.
So what if Duncan prefers to beat the dinner rush in favor of the Early Bird special? His athletic prowess speaks for itself.
What 36-year-old big can dribble coast to coast and finish with a one-handed slam without barely lifting his feet? What other "aging" power forward can consistently play out of position yet still dominate his respective craft? And is there even a single player in the league not named Dwyane Wade who can use the glass better than Duncan?
Duncan and the Spurs are one of the oldest teams in the league, yes, but that has proved to mean absolutely nothing.
Led by the likes of Tony Parker and Duncan himself, the Spurs are tied for the most wins in the NBA with an 18-6 record, and at 107.2 points per 100 possessions, they have the fifth-most efficient offensive attack in the Association. That's better than the Lakers and right behind the Heat and Thunder as well.
San Antonio also has six—nearly seven—players averaging double-figure points each game. The Thunder and the Heat have no more than four.
Who exactly are we calling old? Better yet, who exactly are we calling boring?
Duncan is averaging 17.8 points, 10.2 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per contest, en route to posting a PER of 25.95. That's the fourth-highest rating in the NBA, right behind (you guessed it) the likes of LeBron and Durant.
Is that boring?
Parker himself is averaging 19.1 points and 7.5 assists (No. 7 in the league) per bout on 50.8 percent shooting. Is that droll as well?
The Spurs also have the league's third-highest-scoring bench (41.8 points per game) in the NBA, are dishing out a league-leading 25.3 assists per contest and are scoring the second-most points (104.8) per bout. Is that mundane too?
No, San Antonio isn't the most athletic of the bunch, but to consider Parker, Duncan and even Danny Green anything short of athletically gifted is nothing short of misguided. And the "they're getting old" argument is also less than worthless at this point.
Sure, Coach Gregg Popovich's crew consists of six players over the age of 30, but that just adds to the excitement that most continue to overlook.
This is a team with the best record in the NBA, a team that dropped 132 points on the Charlotte Bobcats in regulation, a team with the third-highest point differential in the league.
And a team that nearly defeated the Heat in Miami without its six best players.
Again, for the umpteenth time, how is that boring?
James-like dunks may not be a staple of the Spurs, but crafty passing, efficient shooting and high-scoring affairs are. Oh, and so is winning.
San Antonio is thriving in the face of adversity, winning in spite of its supposed impediments, dominating when this was the year it was supposed to be submissive.
What more could we possibly want?
Tune into the Heat games for LeBron and Wade's alley-oops. Stream the Thunder to watch the demonstrative stylings of Durant and Russell Westbrook. Watch the Lakers as Kobe drops 40 points on fadeaways.
Are the San Antonio Spurs actually boring?
Then chance just a glimpse at the Spurs, because one cursory glance is all it takes to realize you're in the presence of near perfection, of a team that keeps pace with best of the best despite diminutive expectations.
And that's exhilarating in a way that the Spurs have made all their own.
But don't take my word for it. Don't even let the eye-popping statistics make a decision for you. Find out for yourself.
I personally guarantee you won't be bored.
All stats in this article are accurate as of December 14, 2012.
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