First of all, let’s just take a moment and comprehend that sentence. The San Antonio Spurs, the team that was supposed to have their best days behind them, the team that was supposed to feel the brunt of this compacted season more than any other team in the NBA, are now sitting on the number one seed and currently have the best record in all of the NBA. Now that, in itself, is an occasion worth noting.
But as we all know, seasons aren’t made through the 60-some-odd games that make the regular season. They’re made in the playoffs. The Spurs learned that the hard way last year when they entered the playoffs with the number one seed and the NBA’s best record locked up (sound familiar?) only to lose to eighth-seed Memphis Grizzlies in a surprisingly one-sided fashion. Am I saying the Spurs are due for a first round exit this year? Absolutely not; but last year’s fiasco at the hand of the Grizzlies should still be fresh in the minds of everyone from San Antonio.
But just so we can comprehend exactly why these aren’t last year’s Spurs, let’s go over some facts: Manu is far healthier this year than he was at any point last season, the emergence of Tiago Splitter means the Spurs won’t get roughed up quite as bad on the inside as they did last year and head coach Greg Popovich has been masterful in determining just how many minutes his aging stars have played over the course of the season. Given the way Pop has managed his team all season, it seems natural that the Spurs are absolutely poised for playoff success.
Even with all the pieces in place, however, there’s no denying that the West is still wide open at this point with all the hungry young talent that spans the league and teams everywhere just begging for a shot at the NBA crown. As far as San Antonio is concerned, though, they’ve been there before and they have that look about them that screams “eye of the Tiger,” and at this point, everything is set in place for the Spurs to go on another deep run in the post-season.
I don’t want to write anything before it’s actually happened, but if I were to venture a guess, I would say the Spurs at least make it to the Western Conference Finals. What they do after that is completely up to them and I wish them the best of luck as the “Quiet Dynasty” is one of the most underrated and undervalued stories in recent sports history.