Sometimes a classic gets a fresh coat of paint and a new lease on life. Case in point, the 1967 Renault Caravelle, of which fewer than 3000 were ever made.
Tony Parker, like his "new" old car, is a "new" old star. Coming into this season, his stock had been trending steadily downward, and we all feared the end had come. Apparently, though, as has been noted on this blog before, Tim Duncan shared the location of his Nanda Parbat-esque fountain of youth with Tony, and the little Frenchman was transformed into the quick, smart, productive and overall deadly guard of his prime.
But even with Tony's brilliance, it would be remiss to say he's been leading the charge. As the NBA analysts below mention, the Spurs are winning how they've always won: as a true team. While Leonard and Parker have been consistent producers, and though Aldridge has been steadily returning to his All-Star form, on any given night, any given Spur will step up and spark the team to victory.
Thus, after a week in which Popovich and his Merry Band slew the Nets, Pistons, and Cavs with great panache, and after which San Antonio still leads the league by allowing 89 points per game while scoring 104 (4th best nationally), the rest of the mainstream media is beginning to trickle in to the spot John Schuhmann's been camping out in for a couple of weeks now: that the Spurs are the league's best team. Naturally, ESPN and USA Today are running late to the party. Takes them awhile to get ready, you know. They've got a lot of long-standing bias to pack up.
Marc Stein, (from ESPN) Spurs rank: 2, Last week's rank: 2)
If it's any consolation, Spurs fans, we seem to be in the minority when it comes to ranking the Warriors higher than your heroes these days. Take ESPN's famed Basketball Power Index, for example. Our BPI guys have the Spurs rated as 53.9 percent likely to win it all, with Golden State at a mere 28.1 percent. Next in line: Cleveland and Oklahoma City at 9.4 percent and 4.3 percent, respectively.
USA Today (Spurs rank: 2, Last week's rank: 2)
Can anyone defend Tony Parker's outside shooting?
John Schuhmann, NBA.com (Spurs rank: 1, Last week's rank: 1)
The Spurs recovered from an ugly start to beat the Cavs on Thursday andthumped the Mavs on Sunday to run their latest winning streak to 11 games. They've made no more than five threes in the last five, but Tony Parker and LaMarcus Aldridge have each had big games. They've already set a franchise record with 11 wins by 25 or more points and it would be an upset if they don't add two more this week.
David Aldridge, NBA.com (Spurs rank: 1, Last week's rank: 2)
So many different people can beat you every night, and the quality of the Spurs' consistency, player by player, day after day, is unmatched.
Matt Moore, (CBS Sports) Spurs rank: 1, Last week's rank: 2)
Death, Taxes, Spurs. They are relentless, and no matter how many games you think you're ahead, there they are, in the rear view, pursuant with cold, methodical consistency. They are doom personified. I have written this same blurb for them what feels like hundreds of times.
Jeremy Woo, Sports Illustrated (Spurs rank: 1, Last week's rank: 2)
San Antonio leads the league in net rating and point differential and has straight up pummeled teams on its way to the top spot. Kawhi Leonard is a legitimate MVP candidate, LaMarcus Aldridge has been fully integrated and Tony Parker’s has found another on-court life. The machine grinds away.