clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Best of the Spurs Week: Analyzing recent performances and witnessing a personal dunk

This week, we took a look at the recent performance of some NBA teams while watching LeBron posterize his good friend Kevin Love.

NBA: San Antonio Spurs at Portland Trail Blazers Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome back to best of the Spurs week! We’ll be looking at some recent trends in the NBA over the past few months while also witnessing the breakup between two good friends due to a single dunk.

As always, things took an unexpected turn at times and random topics like the super soldier serum somehow worked its way into the article...

Best exaggeration

Best plan


I wish that was possible, but I don’t see any reason why Lavine would leave Chicago now that they’ve actually assembled a respectable team around him. The whole point of trading and signing both Demar and Lonzo was to convince Lavine to stay, and they’ve exceeded even the wildest of expectations this year.

Plus, even if he decides to test free agency, why would he joy an even worse team in the Spurs?

On a lighter note, I love it when players comment on each other's posts and fans get all excited because of it. Remember when Embiid used to make fun of opposing players on Instagram after games? Good times.

Best play

Boy, this was one of the wildest endings to a game in recent memory. Golden State definitely isn’t the same team it was to start the season due to injuries, but no one is going to feel sorry for them.

With the playoffs starting in just a few weeks, I think the best stats to look at are team record over the last few months instead of the entire season.

According to Cleaning the Glass, the Celtics have the league’s best record (19-3) and point differential (+14.5!!) since the start of February. To no one’s surprise, Memphis and Phoenix are, respectively, second and third in point differential, with all three teams ranking top five in both offense and defense over that span.

Meanwhile, Golden State is 10-12 and +1.1, which is 15th in the league. The best story since then is probably the play of the Timberwolves, who are 17-7 and fifth in point differential at +8.5.

On the other hand, the Bulls have dropped off hard and are only 11-12 since the start of last month. The Spurs are actually just ahead of them in point differential with a mark of -1.7, although San Antonio’s only 10-12 over that period.

With that said, there’s a real chance that the good guys could catch the Lakers for the final play-in spot. L.A. is 7-15 since February with a differential of -6.0, good bad enough for 25th overall. They’ll likely stay in their current spot if Anthony Davis returns soon, which, in my opinion, is a good thing; I’d much rather have higher lottery odds than participate in the play-in given where this franchise is at.

Best synergy

Best defense

It’s nice to see Poeltl get some recognition for his elite defense, but his impact hasn’t been as great as it was last year. This is interesting since I haven’t noticed any huge changes in terms of the eye test, but most of his defensive stats are down.

For example, opponents shot below 50% at the rim last year with Poeltl defending them, but this number has increased all the way to 56.8% so far this season. That’s still one of the better marks in the league, even if it’s a far cry from what he did in 2020-21.

A lot of that is definitely related to a league-wide change; so far, only Jaren Jackson Jr. and Jarrett Allen are limiting the field goal percentage of opponents to below 50% at the rim this year. The Spurs as a whole have also been a lot worse defensively, which has definitely impacted Poeltl’s numbers.

It’ll still be interesting to see what’s causing the change, but that’s an article for a different time (*insert eye emojis*).

Best ejection

Pop definitely wanted to get ejected here, and I was starting to get worried he wasn’t going to be given how long it took the referee to blow his whistle.

But hey, the man’s 73! Sometimes he just needs a break from Spurs basketball, which certainly isn’t for the faint of heart at times.

Or maybe he just wanted to watch golf? I’m being totally serious by the way, just like the time Doc Rivers claimed he tried to get ejected to watch Tiger make a run during the Masters.

Best accomplishment

I’m pretty sure I’ve said this for like three weeks straight now, but appreciate arguably the best player ever while you still can.

Most insincere tweet

I hope I can find a person someday who loves me as much as Skip hates LeBron.

Most personal dunk


Seriously, was LeBron made in a freaking lab? I swear he was injected with the super soldier serum when he was born. When are we ever going to see a guy who’s 6’9, 250 pounds of pure fast twitch muscles who can run faster and jump higher than just about anyone in NBA history again?

Jeez, that sounds way too much like fan fiction, I’ll see myself out now...

Best visual summary

Best friendly(?) fire

Is it just me or did Kevin Love actually go harder than I expected here? If he did that to me, I probably would’ve been sidelined for a year with every upper-body injury you can name.

I have no idea what this is about...

I still enjoyed watching it, though.

This was inevitable, wasn’t it? Kyrie can make his home debut this weekend but I’m still not sold on the Nets. Every time they seem to get healthy, something else happens that blows up the entire thing.

Even so, it’s still funny seeing most of the top teams in the East jockeying out of the top spots to try and avoid potentially playing Brooklyn in round one.

If LeBron was injected with the super soldier serum, then what the heck did Zion get?

Seriously, how is it even possible to be close to (or more than) 300 pounds and still get up that high?

As for how this impacts the Pelicans, I don’t think many people know. Zion’s already been ruled out for the season so is this just his way of reminding everyone what he’s capable of?

Either way, I just hope we can see him fully healthy next year.

This week, I’m sending you guys to check out an article on Lonnie Walker from my good friend Jesus, who’s one of the best and longest-tenured PtR writers.

See you all next week!