Chalk up another one for the "old guys." The San Antonio Spurs pushed their winning streak to 18 in their 103-77 victory over the Indiana Pacers.
The game was billed as a potential finals preview but didn't live up to the hype.
Led by Tony Parker's 22 points, the Spurs gained an early lead and didn't look back.
The Pacers pride themselves on being a big and physical team, but they were outmuscled by the Spurs. The Spurs controlled the paint and won the battle on the offensive glass, which led to San Antonio getting 42 second-chance points.
While the Spurs got very little from stars Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili, San Antonio still played a masterful game. The veteran Spurs proved they can dominate even when two of the Big Three are having an off night. This game showed how dangerous San Antonio can and will be in the playoffs and why it should be considered a favorite to win the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy.
A huge reason for the Spurs' win streak is their dominance on offense and defense.
Before the game Gregg Popovich didn't seem to be a big fan of the win streak:
#Spurs Gregg Popovich not oo impressed on 17-game winning streak. "I think sometimes when you win a lot in a row you need to get slapped."— Mike Marot (@apmarot) March 31, 2014
Popovich didn't seem too excited about the Spurs' drumming of the Pacers either:
Spurs set a franchise record with 18 games in a row... Can you see the excitement in Coach Pops face? pic.twitter.com/9nFhr41lvK— Josh (@Joshx13_) April 1, 2014
The Pacers appear to be on the opposite end of the spectrum as the Spurs. Indiana is not playing to its potential and risks heading into the playoffs on a cold streak. This is leading to a lot of frustration among Pacers players.
The Pacers have lost six of their last eight games, including losses to non-playoff teams like the Knicks and Cavaliers.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) April 1, 2014
This frustration seems to be bleeding onto the court.
You didn't see it on TV, but Lance Stephenson and George Hill got in a heated verbal confrontation and had to be separated by teammates.— Indy Sports Talk (@IndySportsTalk) April 1, 2014
The loss has led to the Pacers losing their hold of first place in the Eastern Conference. With their win on Monday night, the Heat have officially taken over the top seed.
Pacers fans are becoming extremely dissatisfied with the work Frank Vogel has done as head coach of the Pacers.
@haralabob I've coined the term "23 seconds or more" for Vogel's [bizarro-D'Antoni] offense. Please endorse.— BetrayedBocaBaker (@psulur) April 1, 2014
While Pacers fans are upset with the way their team is playing, the Spurs fans are just the opposite.
The win has some Spurs fans looking to the finals.
Spurs going to the finals again watch!!!— Nigel (@NookDaBlackMigo) April 1, 2014
Other fans are perplexed how the Spurs are playing this well:
I have no idea how the Spurs are doing so well. Their team is so old compared to other teams but yet still so dominant. How?— Daren Ha (@darenhaha) April 1, 2014
While San Antonio's win streak has some thinking of a popular Nelly song:
The Spurs are basically that Nelly music marathon with "No. 1" playing on repeat instead of "Hot In Herre"— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) April 1, 2014
The Spurs now must turn their attention to the Golden State Warriors for their contest on Wednesday. Can the "old" Spurs continue their impressive streak against the young, sharpshooting Warriors?
One thing is for sure, the "old men" of the Spurs are heading in the right direction as the Pacers are heading in the wrong one. Whether it matters come playoff time remains to be seen.