Before this season started, I said this team should be a lock for being one of the top 3 seeds in the West. I also said that with a stronger bench and new 3 point shooters, that this may be one of the best offensive teams the Spurs have had in quite some time.So far that's exactly how this team looks.
The OKC game last night was only the 2nd one I've seen this year. I have to say it was impressive and fun to watch. Reminded me of the good ole'days when I was a student at U.TS.A. (03-05)
I must say, RJ looks night and day different than last year early on. Instead of looking like a rookie, not knowing the system or what exactly he can contribute, he looks like a veteran All-Star who's been playing on this team for years. His defense on Durant was perhaps more of Durant having an off game. But give him credit for making him every point.
Bonner's lights out shooting was scary. Losing Anderson for a couple of months won't be such a big deal if Sandwich Man continues to hit at a high percentage.
I don't wont' to make too much of one game. But I have to say that the chemistry with this team reminds of that which past Championship level Spurs teams had. I was hoping and predicting that they would start out hot like this. So to actually see it, after such a long time, is what makes it kind of scary for me. I suppose after another few weeks of this, I'll just being saying, "Spurs are back to a Championship level of play. What else should I expect other than great individual and team performances week after week."
You hear that Spurs fans, Spurs are awfully good this year, it's not a fluke, not just a good month. This is a damn good team!
They should only get better with Splitter learning the system and earning more playing time. No seriously, when your stars: TP, Manu, and RJ are playing this well, it makes it easier for the role players to establish, or re-establish themselves within the flow of the offense. Gary Neal, Red Rocket, Beast, Spitter, and Hill are the guys in particular I have in mind. (Anderson as well once he returns from injury)
I don't think any team will reach 70 wins this year. But if I had to bet on one, it would be this team. No disrespect to L.A. but they have a big target on their backs. The clubs out in the ultra-competitive west certainly want to play their best against them. But the low-profile Spurs aren't (at least yet from what I can tell) perceived by the masses as a championship caliber team so perhaps they don't garner the attention and motivation of one of the 'elite' teams . But if a team loses to the Spurs, it's no surprise to them, they just say, "Oh, well, they are the Spurs."
You see what I mean? 10 years of winning combined with a more recently perceived drop in their potential as a team..... If the Spurs don't get 70, but instead 59, or 62, and more importantly the # 1 seed then everyone is still surprised and kind of taken aback. Say they have some setbacks and get a 2 or 3 seed, then they are right around were everyone thought they'd be.
Right now this team has all the makings of a low-profile team that may very well turn out to be the best team in the league this year. (regular season) That's a psychological advantage I like them having. (Not to mention, the love of their fans without all the pressure that comes from a big time market and bandwagon fans.)
This already is and will likely continue to be a great regular season to be a Spurs fan and player, and coach. (The Play-offs is another season that can be worried once the May/June arrive.)
Enjoy the regular season everyone! Wish I was in S.A. or at least in a U.S.A. time zone.
P.S. Next big Spurs column that hits national media: Spurs Off to Great Start Thanks to Duncan's Unselfishness. Correction: It will probably read something more like: Parker Leads Rejuvenated Spurs to Fast Start, and then their will be a follow up article about Duncan's unselfishness making it all possible.