Kemba Walker isn't the only basketball story making the news this season - after a blazing hot month of November and twelve straight wins, the San Antonio Spurs finally were beaten on November 26 by their rival Dallas Mavericks. The Spurs even after that loss still enjoyed the best record in the National Basketball Association with only two losses so far on the season. All of this has come from a team whose core of the aging (and ageless) Tim Duncan, the oft injured Manu Ginobili, and the fleet footed Tony Parker whose marriage is coming unraveled in a very messy divorce were said to be washed up. Many so called experts had said that this team's championship window had already closed.
But compare this team to the squad they defeated in a seven game Finals to win the 2005 NBA title, the Detroit Pistons. That team is in a shambles, with no point guard, no offensive presence inside, and no hope. On the other hand, this San Antonio team is in first place and playing incredibly well as a unit. There have been some notable changes in the rotation, but that has not stopped the team from doing its thing. They can't save you money on your teen car insurance, but the San Antonio Spurs can impress you on the basketball court. They swapped out George Hill to reinsert former super sub Ginobili into the starting lineup and all Ginobili has done so far is play great and lead the team in scoring, while Hill has done a nice job off the bench.
Tony Parker Divorce No Distraction
Point guard Tony Parker has been the catalyst for the San Antonio offense ever since he arrived as a 19 year old kid from France. He may not be wiser as evidenced by his text messaging scandal and impending divorce from Eva Longoria, but he is definitely a better basketball player at age 28 than he was ay 19, leading the team in assists and actually sitting among the league leaders in that category while also leading the team in scoring on a number of nights and contributing in the rebounding department as well. If nothing else this fast start by the San Antonio Spurs may prove that the Parker divorce is not going to be a distraction to the team like it could have been.
History of Spurs Success
To anyone who has paid attention to San Antonio basketball, this season should really come as no surprise. The team has been a force in the Western Conference ever since Tim Duncan arrived in 1997; and really, the franchise has had success ever since joining the NBA in the ABA merger back in the 1970s. The San Antonio Spurs have won 17 division titles in that time frame, more than any other team in the league. And since Duncan came on board after college, they've won 4 NBA championships, in 1999, 2003, 2005, and 2007. The Spurs probably cannot be called the team of the decade because that title belongs to the Lakers; but next to the Lake Show they have put on a show of their own in San Antonio with a model of consistency and success.
The San Antonio Spurs are off to a great start and this season may be another chance for the Spurs to make a run at a title. The Lakers may have some tired legs having played in three straight Finals. Come June, the Western Conference team left standing just might be from Texas. The San Antonio Spurs look that good, though much depends on whether Ginobili can actually stay healthy as a starter.