Well, that went about as well as could be expected. Even if you believed the Spurs could upset the Warriors on opening night, surely you didn’t expect the drubbing they handed to the super-est of all super teams. The result, as well as the Spurs taking care of business against its next three opponents despite a travel-heavy schedule, saw the Spurs rise as high as first in some power rankings, and second behind the undefeated defending champions in others.
John Shuhmann, NBA.com - 1 (last week: 3)
Gregg Popovich waited only two games before DNP'ing his vets, resting Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili (in the home opener!) on Saturday, and LaMarcus Aldridge in Miami on Sunday. No matter, because Kawhi Leonard played (and was the best player on the floor) both nights. The Spurs' bench underwent more changes this summer, but still looks like the best bench in the league, with Jonathan Simmons having a huge game against the Warriors and Patty Mills leading the league in effective field goal percentage after Week 1.
David Aldridge, NBA.com - 1 (last week: 5)
Early. Early. But damn impressive.
Mark Stein, ESPN - 2 (last week: 3)
Life Without Timmy couldn't have started any smoother. First Kawhi Leonard, with 35 points in that takedown of the Warriors, had the gaudiest opening night for a Spur since George Gervin's 35 points to open the 1981-82 campaign. Then Kawhi, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, became the first player in league history -- since steals became an official stat starting with the 1973-74 season -- to total at least 30 points and five steals in each of his team's first two games of the season.
Matt Moore, CBS Sports - 2 (last week: 3)
The Spurs pasting the Warriors in Oracle was a bit shocking. Rule No. 1: NDP. Never Doubt Popovich. Kawhi Leonard looks even better, somehow. The Spurs are undefeated.
Kurt Helin, NBC Sports - 2 (last week: 3)
Popovich is already resting guys — Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, and LaMarcus Aldridge have all had nights off — and it doesn’t matter, the Spurs keep on winning. Not only did the Spurs make a statement opening night, so did Kawhi Leonard (remember he was second in MVP voting last year, ahead of LeBron). Leonard has attacked the rim and gotten to the line 40 times in four games — and hit 38 of them. He’s been the beast carrying this team.
Brian Mazique, Forbes - 2 (last week: N/A)
Was I supposed to have another team in this spot? I know we all expect the Golden State Warriors to hit their stride at some point this season, but I cannot in good conscience ignore the 29-point beatdown they suffered at home at the hands of the San Antonio Spurs on opening night.
Group that victory with the Spurs’ two lesser wins over the New Orleans Pelicans and the Sacramento Kings, and you have an opening week resume fit for the second spot.