The San Antonio Spurs aren’t stopping or slowing down for anyone, beating the Golden State Warriors 111-90 to bring their winning streak to 19 games thanks to another very efficient performance from both Tim Duncan and Tony Pakrer, while hoping that this isn’t the best they have to offer this season.
Because as confident as they might look like right now, seemingly completely over losing to the Miami Heat in last year’s finals and not paying too much attention to their poor record against the Thunder and the Rockets this season, there’s also the fear that they are wasting all their ammunition too soon.
But that’s the ‘glass is half empty’ kind of thinking. Without getting into theories and projections, the now is the most important thing, and no one is playing basketball like the Spurs at this moment. Every season there comes a stage when the Spurs pick up their play and start beating everyone to end the season looking once more like potential NBA champions not to mention the favorites. The record of the past under Popovich or since Tim Duncan has joined the team is brought up, and they’re once again mentioned as the best franchise not just in the NBA, but in all of North American sports.
The Golden State Warriors didn’t do anything to bother them, suffering from no interior defense or offense, as even Jermaine O’Neal was limited to only four minutes of basketball. With that in mind, Tim Duncan went to work, finishing with 15 points and 8 rebounds on 7-of-11 from the field. Tony Parker had no problem slashing his way through the paint to finish with 18 points and Kawhi Leonard added 11, also not finding any trouble scoring, finishing with 56 points in the paint.
The Spurs’ ball movement did give them plenty of wide open shots from beyond the arc, but they kept missing to finish with only 4-of-19, which really didn’t matter while the Warriors were unable to put up even slight notion of a fight. Manu Ginobili scored 13 points, and so did Patty Mills, while Marco Belinelli completed the double figure scoring fiesta with 12 points of his own.
The Warriors didn’t look anything like the team that beat the Dallas Mavericks in a highly enjoyable game a night before. Stephen Curry was only 5-of-15 from the field to finish with 11 points and 10 assists. Marreese Speights scored 22 points to lead the Warriors and Jordan Crawford added 16 points, but this was a game that they lost almost immediately after the tip off, not being able to do enough defensively or with their usually hot shooting to hide the fact that they’re playing without any real interior players.
The Spurs keep the minutes low, as Duncan spent only 20 minutes on the floor and the only player with more than 30 was Boris Diaw. Popovich is master of getting the max out of minimal minutes from his key players, and the Spurs continue to win easily despite not overworking anyone on their team. It’s been that way for years, which makes it surprising to see people still amazed by this consistent excellence. The more surprising fact is probably that they only have four NBA championships and not more.