A 4-for-17 showing from three-point range would have doomed various iterations of the San Antonio Spurs earlier this year, especially when facing off against one of the better teams in the NBA. But last night it was a footnote in what was an otherwise-impressive dismantling of the then-second-place Grizzlies.
With every piece in place, the Spurs Megazord is looking as strong as ever, taking on various forms depending on the opponent. It dropped 130 on Oklahoma City and pushed the pace, before slowing things down against division rivals Dallas and Memphis.
This week kicks off with a back-to-back in Florida. The shorthanded Heat will be the tougher matchup, as they continue to fight for their postseason life. The matchup against the league-leading Warriors is obviously the juiciest game of the week -- although, if you're a Vegas junkie, you have to like the Spurs' odds on Sundays (9-1), including dominating the Hawks and Grizzlies the past two weeks.
Marc Stein, from ESPN (Spurs rank: 3. Last week's rank: 5)
The Spurs are 13-3 since Feb. 27, second only to Golden State and tops in the league in offensive efficiency in that span. More importantly: San Antonio is 17-5 in the mere 22 games in which Pop has been able to field his preferred starting lineup of Parker, Green, Leonard, Duncan and Splitter.
Drew Garrison, SB Nation (Spurs rank: 5. Last week's rank: 7)
It's been a long ride for the Spurs, but San Antonio finding its groove at the end of the season has turned into the death and taxes of the NBA. The Spurs have been on a roll lately, picking up a handful of quality wins that includes a 39-point beat down of the Thunder. San Antonio has been just as good as Golden State through March, outscoring opponents by 13.5 points per 100 possessions:
Marc J. Spears, Yahoo Sports (Spurs rank 6. Last week's rank: 7)
The defending NBA champs are picking it up down the stretch as usual with a three-game winning streak and 13 victories in their last 16 games.
USA Today (Spurs rank: 8. Last week's rank: 8)
Another 10 games like the past 10 games and they are in position to host a first round series
John Schuhmann, NBA.com (Spurs rank: 4. Last week's rank: 6)
A healthy Tiago Splitter gives the Spurs' their standard, dominant starting lineup, which, in turn, puts their bench in order. And a healthy Tiago Splitter puts up some solid boxscore numbers (on a per-36-minute basis) too. He's averaged 19.8 points (on 67 percent shooting), 10.1 rebounds, 1.7 steals and 1.2 blocks per 36 over the last nine games.
Matt Moore, CBS Sports (Spurs rank: 2. Last week's rank 4)
Their starting unit is 31.8 points per 100 possessions better than their opponent since the All-Star Break. If you're wondering, that's flesh-eating-swarm-of tiny-robots good, which is just a step above herd-of-steroid-infused-elephants-with-rocket launchers good.