The San Antonio Spurs have operated at a minimum of a 50-win pace for twenty consecutive seasons. That, of course, is obscenely impressive and, in general, betting on Gregg Popovich and company always seems to be the right move. In the post-Tim Duncan era, though, there was at least some worry that the Spurs would regress, though that faint questioning evaporated with a ridiculous 61-win campaign a year ago and the full-blown ascent of Kawhi Leonard as the team’s centerpiece and a top-five player in the league.
In 2017-2018, the questions did arise again, albeit briefly, as Leonard missed the outset of the season with a mysterious injury. In fact, Leonard has appeared on the floor for only 69 minutes and, to this point, has been a virtual non-factor, even with the caveat that he will obviously play a central role moving forward. Still, the Spurs continue to press on, posting a 23-11 record that doubles as, you guessed it, a 55-win pace.
The Warriors and Rockets are (justifiably) garnering headlines, while the Thunder and Wolves are intriguing in different ways when it comes to the Western Conference hierarchy. In the same breath, it cannot be overstated just how mind-blowing it is that San Antonio is right in the mix again, with LaMarcus Aldridge exploding to lead an otherwise uninspiring roster to real success in the early going.
Whispers of boredom with how the Spurs operate are inevitable but, in truth, San Antonio’s brilliance isn’t quite as underrated as it used to be, at least until this season. The team has gotten enough buzz as an underrated entity by the basketball media recently to fill a number of column inches on a daily basis but, this time around, it is a new model that actually hasn’t included a real, live elite player. San Antonio may not chase down Golden State and/or Houston but, if and when they post another 55-win campaign, it shouldn’t be simply written off as yet another Spurs performance. It will be even more noteworthy.
Where are the Spurs this week in our Dime Power Rankings? Let’s find out.