999 was the figure on the minds of most people as the Spurs kicked off their Rodeo Road Trip last night in the Great White North. But after the game, it was a handful of other figures that stood out: 25 was the team's percentage from downtown on 28 attempts; 15 of 57 was the combined shooting totals of the Big Four, and .500 is what San Antonio dropped to on the road this season, a number that will hopefully improve over the next few weeks.
Meanwhile, that upside-down Number of the Beast is still there, waiting to roll over into quadruple digits. Hitting 1,000 isn't likely to leave Coach Pop beaming, but I'm sure he'll be happy to leave this hullabaloo behind him and get his team on the right track.
Does that make this the least compelling reference to the number 1,000 since Willennium? No. Pop being just the ninth guy to do it is a big accomplishment (especially since only one of the guys ahead of him boasts a better career win percentage), and you need these benchmarks every now and then to stand back and take notice. But as is pointed out in this great piece by Erler and some of the comments below, the Spurs are healthy now, and it's time to see some other statistics improve.
As usual, I look forward to seeing your thoughts, on numbers good and bad, as well as the viewpoints of our NBA writers, in the comments below.
Marc Stein, from ESPN, (Spurs rank: 6. Last week's rank: 5)
We all know Pop will soon become the third-fastest coach in history to 1,000 wins. The greater uncertainty is whether he'll be joining Phil Jackson and Pat Riley as the only coaches with 17 50-win seasons. These Spurs, after opening the Rodeo Road Trip with a loss in Toronto, are on a 51-31 pace.
Drew Garrison, from SB Nation NBA, (Spurs rank: 9. Last week's rank: 10)
Gregg Popovich will likely become the ninth coach in NBA history to reach the 1,000-win mark before the NBA takes its annual February hiatus.
Marc J. Spears, from Yahoo Sports, (Spurs rank: 7. Last week's rank: 8)
Wouldn't be surprised if Steve Kerr replaces injured Blake Griffin in the starting lineup with Tim Duncan, the coach's former teammate with the Spurs.
USA Today, (Spurs rank: 8. Last week's rank: 10)
They are 13-2 when Tony Parker scores at least 15 points.
John Schuhmann, from NBA.com, (Spurs rank: 8. Last week's rank: 6)
Thanks to an anemic offensive display, Gregg Popovich couldn't get win No. 1,000 as the Spurs' rodeo trip began in Toronto on Sunday. When it comes to NetRtg, this is the worst Spurs team since Tim Duncan was drafted (previous low was plus-4.3 in 2008-09) in 1997, with Duncan registering the worst on-court NetRtg (plus-2.4) of his career.
Matt Moore, from CBS Sports, (Spurs rank: 8. Last week's rank: 6)
They just started the Rodeo Road Trip (an annual stretch where AT&T Center is occupied by one of the country's best rodeos -- seriously, go sometime, it's fun) with a loss vs. the Raptors. They're 71-29 all-time on the Rodeo Road Trip (HT: Tom Ziller)