Spurs on Top of the League at Season’s Halfway Mark
When the San Antonio Spurs first beat the Denver Nuggets 113-112, everybody was saying it should have gone Denver’s way if not for the foul call, and had Chauncey Billups not missed that game. And when the Spurs, again, beat the Nuggets, 109-103, they were blaming it on Carmelo Anthony’s absence.
For the third time now, the Spurs have beaten the Nuggets 110-97, with both Anthony and Billups starting and playing for the team.
Any more excuses?
Just only goes to show that the Spurs did not fluke their way to the top of the standings with a 35-6 win-loss card, the third best first half in NBA history. They’ve stayed healthy and intact for the last 41 games, and the dividends are just tremendous–something that nobody talked about when the season was beginning. After all, they were dubbed as the ‘aging, rusting, and left-behind San Antonio Spurs.’
Turns out this bunch of aging, rusting, and left-behind players are leading the league, with the next best team behind by 5 wins, from both conferences. Even the defending champs, the LA Lakers, are trailing the Spurs by five wins, and have twice as much losses as the Spurs. The Spurs are the only team with .800+ in their winning percentage, and they’ve only encountered one back-to-back defeats so far. They’ve won their 15th straight home game, and are running a third six-game streak so far. All this, while their franchise player Tim Duncan is averaging his lowest ever in points per game, and even minutes per game.
But Spurs coach Greeg Popovich knows its way to early to rest on what the team has achieved so far. Things, in fact, get a whole lot tougher after all-star break, when everybody starts revving up their engines to catch up with the teams leading the pack.
And the Spurs are leading the pack. All the packs.
The vicious atmosphere of the second half is not something new to San Antonio. 13 straight playoff appearances and four championships under their belt tell you they’ve squared with such a grueling segment of the season, and prevailed. The pace they’ve made so far into the season might not be translated in the same fashion when they take on the next half of the season. But so far, the Spurs look like the second half is a given one. Of course, the Spurs don’t believe this look at all. Nonetheless, the Spurs cannot be denied the recognition they have earned for themselves these last 41 games.
And they cannot be denied the number one spot in the standings.