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‘Are the Spurs for real?’

By Daniel Strickland on December 8, 2010.

It’s not a rhetorical question. Are they? All signs point to “yes.”

Yes, after 20 games, the Spurs 17-3 record is best in the NBA.

Yes, about half of those wins have come against playoff teams, including the Suns, Rockets, Thunder, Bulls, Jazz, Magic, and the Hornets (twice).

Yes, most power rankings put the Spurs at #1.

Even with a loss to the Clippers, the Spurs have the best record in the NBA, and look like the team that we all thought they would be last year.

They are so talented and have so much depth, that things are starting to look and feel like they did in 2003, 2005, and 2007 when the Spurs won the NBA title.

Yes, Justin Kubatko gives the Spurs a 25.7% chance of winning the Finals this year, better odds than the Miami Heat (25.1%), the Boston Celtics (20.5%) and the Los Angeles Lakers (9.1%).

Yes, the numbers look good. Cry Havoc writes on Spurs Talk (“Are the Spurs for real? Three very telling, very important stats.”):

Point differential (Season) – #1 San Antonio – 9.0 PPG

Point differential (Last 10 games) – #1 San Antonio – 11.90 PPG

Strength of Schedule (Last 10 games) – #1 San Antonio – .586

Over the last 10 games, we have played the hardest schedule out of anyone in the NBA. Not only have we won, but we’ve won by a wider margin than any other team in the league.

I think the rest of the league has reason to be a bit concerned about us.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m as giddy as the next Spurs fan about how well our team has played so far. But my memories of season’s past tells me that a lot happens between December and June in the NBA, and the Spurs have been here before. The Spurs were 17-3 after beating the Utah Jazz on December 7, 2007. They went on to finish with a 56-26 record, win the Southwest Division, beat the Suns in the first round, beat the Hornets in the second round (in seven games) and then… lose to the Lakers in the Western Finals.

The Spurs will face the Lakers for the first time, at home, on December 28th, then travel to Dallas to face the Mavericks on December 30th. After those two games, we’ll know more about whether the Spurs are ‘for real’ or not.

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