In the immortal words of the bard:
What's in a game? Those who we call the Spurs, by any other result, are just as legitimate of title contenders -- regardless of the outcome of one early-April matchup against a team that's already locked up the top spot in the West.
Sunday's home trouncing of the NBA-leading Warriors may not have gotten San Antonio any closer to repeating as champs, but it did put the league (and its writers) on notice, punctuating an impressive 20-game stretch with yet another all-world performance from Kawhi Leonard.
While Leonard has already established himself as one of the best foils against LeBron James, it was Stephen Curry who appeared vulnerable against the Claw -- whenever he wasn't locking down Harrison Barnes. And let's not forget Danny Green's defense on fellow Splash Brother Klay Thompson.
Again it's *just one game*, but it's also one of seven the Spurs have won in a row -- and one of 17 wins over the last 20. Just as the Warriors' historic point-differential was making some think of them as heavy favorites, the rankings below suggest a change in the consensus.
This is the last full of week of regular season basketball, and it comes with a few more enticing Western Conference battles. The OKC Westbrooks start things off, before the Spurs play a home-and-away against the hot Houston Rockets. Will we see similar success against Curry's opponent in the MVP race, James Harden?
Marc Stein, from ESPN (Spurs rank: 2. Last week's rank: 3)
One big concern looms for the only team in the league with two wins over Golden State: Tiago Splitter's health. The Spurs are 20-5 when Splitter joins Timmy, Tony, Kawhi and Danny Green in the starting lineup. That group, incidentally, played all of eight minutes together in San Antonio's first 40 games.
Drew Garrison, SB Nation (Spurs rank: 3. Last week's rank: 5)
Of course the Spurs are on a seven-game winning streak and just waxed the Warriors by 15 points. It's April. San Antonio, after showing signs of mortality through the regular season, looks fully primed for another big playoff run. Reigning NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard might just make an impact in the postseason:
Marc J. Spears, Yahoo Sports (Spurs rank 4. Last week's rank: 6)
The Spurs are the only team that has defeated the Warriors twice this season and are probably the team Golden State is most concerned about.
USA Today (Spurs rank: 8. Last week's rank: 8)
For fifth time in franchise history, the Spurs have beaten every other team in the league this season
John Schuhmann, NBA.com (Spurs rank: 3. Last week's rank: 4)
Kawhi Leonard made his case for Defensive Player of the Year on Sunday, as the Spurs whooped the current favorite (Draymond Green) and the best team we've seen since the 1995-96 Bulls. He can continue making his case and the Spurs can keep moving up the standings with three games against the league's two leading scorers this week.
Matt Moore, CBS Sports (Spurs rank: 1. Last week's rank 2)
Their annihilation of the Warriors wasn't a statement. It was a warning. Do everything you can to get out of their way and hope, pray, beg the Basketball Gods that this high they're riding doesn't last through June.