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Season 49, Game 18 San Antonio 89, Chicago 92 14-4, 2nd in the West First to 90, wins. Let’s go ahead and call that a defensive battle, and ignore the other possibility. We know that San Antonio has the best defense in the league. Despite a coaching change to fix their offensive woes, the Bulls still maintain their identity from the last few seasons: stout defense, unimaginative offense. This is…

In this week’s podcast, Stephen, Brantley, Andrew and I discuss: the keys to the Spurs early success. why the Spurs are the best defensive team in the NBA. why David West exemplifies the Spurs Way. the December schedule and why it will be better than last December. why we think SloMo will be successful this season. how Kawhi came close to getting a 5×5. how no one expected Kawhi to…

Season 49, Game 17 San Antonio 108, Atlanta 88 14-3, 2nd in the West So this is what it looks like when the offense catches up to the defense. The Hawks were playing their 4th game in 5 nights. About 30 minutes into the grindstone that is the Spurs’ defense, the team had had enough. Can you blame them? 88 points is actually a charitable total. Garbage time started with…

Season 49, Game 16 San Antonio 91, Denver 80 13-3, 2nd in the West In his Pop-like wisdom, I thought my editor might give me the night off as well, being nearly the same age as Manu. No luck. Much like the rest of the Spurs, I had to fight my way through the post-Thanksgiving slog in that first half. It was shaping up to be “one of those games”…

Season 49, Game 15 San Antonio 88, Dallas 83 12-3, 2nd in the West I’m thankful we got out of that game with a win. Mavs-Spurs games have a way of always being close. It doesn’t matter how good the teams are (though both teams are usually really good). Sometimes it will be an offensive game, “last basket wins” type of game. Sometimes it will be a “grind it out,…

Season 49, Game 14 San Antonio 98, Phoenix 84 11-3, 2nd in the West I’d been noticing this season that while his defense is still superb (better, even), Kawhi wasn’t really getting steals like he had last season. Message received, Kawhi: I need to shut up. His diminished steal numbers likely aren’t really his fault. It’s similar to elite cornerbacks in football: once people know not to throw in their…

When your favorite team steps outside its comfort zone and cuts ties with a few major contributors of a championship team for a big-time free agent, it gets a lot easier to scrutinize everything that happens on the court, whether you’re watching or not. Perhaps a better way to put it would be that every box score, every player’s single game +/-, and every Danny Green 3-point miss become opportunities…

Season 49, Game 13 San Antonio 92, Memphis 82 10-3, 2nd in the West After San Antonio’s 10-point win against Memphis, it seems like a good time to bring back a round of ‘Good Cop, Bad Cop.’ Good Cop: The Spurs continue to play top-level, stingy defense. Holding a team as good as Memphis to 82 points is no small feat. The Grizzlies’ highest scoring quarter was a mere 22…

Season 49, Game 12 San Antonio 90, New Orleans 104 9-3, 2nd in the West The New Orleans Pelicans are the San Antonio Spurs’ kryptonite. Nothing else matters. The Pelicans are the worst ranked defense in the NBA? The Spurs come in as one of the hottest teams in the league? The Pelicans are 1-11, can barely field a roster of competent NBA players, and are reliant upon players they…

Season 49, Game 11 San Antonio 109, Denver 98 9-2, 2nd in the West The Spurs season is off to a tremendous start. They are absolutely smothering teams with the league’s top-ranked defense. They are second in assists per game, at 26.4. They have the second best point differential in the league, and the best in the Pop-Duncan era. They’re continuing to figure things out on offense and still throttling teams….