Winning 50 games? No problem.
Rattling off a 19-game win streak? They'll make it look easy.
This is Gregg Popovich's fourth 60-win season. That's the third-highest total by any coach for one team (behind Phil Jackson and Pat Riley).— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) April 7, 2014
San Antonio reached the 60-win plateau following a 112-92 win over the Memphis Grizzlies on April 6—the fifth such season in franchise history, according to Basketball-Reference.com. Amazingly, they’ve already reached that lofty total with five games remaining on the schedule.
To put that accomplishment into perspective, only the Oklahoma City Thunder have a chance to join the Spurs at 60 wins. They can only do so if they finish 5-1 or better during their final six games.
Gregg Popovich’s crew also made headlines last month by winning 50 games for the 15th consecutive season—extending the Spurs’ own record.
Those 15 straight seasons with 50 or more wins have all occurred during the Tim Duncan era, which firmly plants the Spurs in the Association’s top three.
In terms of 60-win seasons, however, few teams have been better historically when compared with San Antonio.
|Los Angeles Lakers||10|
|San Antonio Spurs||5|
|Philadelphia 76ers/Milwaukee Bucks||4|
That impressive regular-season success, however, hasn't always translated to winning on the NBA's biggest stage. The only time San Antonio won at least 60 regular-season games and a title in the same season was during the 2002-03 season—when it dispatched the New Jersey Nets 4-2 in the NBA Finals.
Season after season, the Spurs are counted out as too old or too slow. Casual fans belittle their greatness by calling them “boring" when, in reality, their modern brand of excellence is what every franchise wishes it could emulate.
San Antonio should be considered the favorites out West until proven otherwise, considering it reached the Finals in 2013. That won't be an easy task, though, because the Spurs are 2-8 combined against the Thunder, Los Angeles Clippers and Houston Rockets in 2013-14.
They’ve been a mainstay at the top of the Western Conference standings for more than a decade. Now Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Co. are on a mission to win the fifth championship in franchise history—which would tie their number of 60-win seasons.