With a 9-1 record, the San Antonio Spurs are now tied for the best record in the league with the Indiana Pacers. While the team has had close calls so far, expect the team to extend the streak and garner attention nation-wide. The Spurs continue to be counted out of championship contention, but this will be the beginning of them being reinserted in the conversation.
Nov. 10 @ New York Knicks – Win (120-89)
Danny Green, A.K.A. IcyHot, came to the rescue in this blowout win against the Knicks, scoring 24 points and grabbing a career-high 10 rebounds. Though Carmelo Anthony still scored 16 points, that was the lowest total in a single game for him so far this season. Kawhi Leonard also scored 18 points in 23 minutes, coming off the bench for Marco Belinelli.
Nov. 11 @ Philadelphia 76ers – Win (109-85)
No Tim Duncan, no problem. The early surprise run by the 76ers is coming to a halt and the San Antonio Spurs helped prevent that from starting up again. Defeating former Spurs assistant coach Brett Brown, Danny Green led the team in scoring again with 18 points and also chipped in seven rebounds. The hot streak continues for Danny.
Nov. 13 vs. Washington Wizards – Win (79-92)
Wizards center Marcin Gortat had one of the best compliments that the Spurs must have ever gotten before, stating that the Spurs offense is “like listening to Mozart”. Tony Parker led the way with 16 points and the team ran away with it after a 28-7 run in the fourth quarter. John Wall got swatted in the eye in a play in the third quarter and did not return for the Wizards.
Nov. 15 @ Utah Jazz – Win (91-82)
Against the only team that appears to be doing tanking properly, the Spurs let this game get close enough to let it slip out of their hands, but recovered in the fourth quarter to take the win. Tim Duncan scored 14 points and nine rebounds, while Jazz big man Derrick Favors had 20 points and 18 rebounds, making Duncan work extremely hard for his stat line.
Spur of the Week: Tony Parker: 17.25 points, 5.5 assists, 61.8 percent field goal shooting.
Continuing the trend of falling under the radar, Parker has been the unsung hero of the Spurs success so far. The focus this week has been on Danny Green bouncing back and Marco Belinelli continuing to show his fit in the team, but the team goes nowhere without their all-star point guard. Tony Parker continues to show that while he may not have a true chance at winning league MVP, he’s definitely in the conversation.
The Spur That Needs Sharpening: Tim Duncan: 9 points, nine rebound, 27.4 percent field goal shooting.
I give Tim Duncan the benefit of the doubt for the season still being relatively early, but he’s been underwhelming so far. He missed the 76ers game due to rest, and was thoroughly outplayed by Derrick Favors in the Jazz game. It’s not time to hit the panic button for Tim Duncan, but he hasn’t shown the resurgence he showed last season.
Nov. 20 vs. Boston Celtics
The 4-7 Boston Celtics have had an above-average season so far, considering they were expected to be one of the worst teams in the league after trading away Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. However, the Spurs have done a good job so far of putting away teams they should defeat, so expect them to take the Celtics as seriously as they have done with every team so far.
Nov. 22 @ Memphis Grizzlies
After losing the season opener against San Antonio, the Grizzlies look to take advantage on their home floor to prevent the overall losing streak from extending to six games against the Spurs, stemming from the Western Conference Finals of last season. Expect the Grizzlies to focus on trying to get Zach Randolph going early on, which would be a change from the losing streak they’ve been on since last season.
Nov. 23 vs. Cleveland Cavaliers
An underwhelming performance so far this season by promising guard Kyrie Irving and first overall pick Anthony Bennett have led to a 4-7 record, which has fallen below Cavaliers’ expectations. Don’t expect things to turn around suddenly for Cleveland against the Spurs.