15 playoff appearances, 12 of those 15 seasons the Spurs have finished in the top 3 in the “Wild, Wild West”-ern Conference. 6 of those 13 seasons they were the #1 seed, and are again, this season, on pace for being the #1 seed in the Western Conference for the 7th time in a span of 16 years. 4 NBA Finals appearances, 4 NBA Finals Championships.
Yet again, the San Antonio Spurs are right back where they were last year, and the year before that, at the top of the Western Conference. While all the media is derived on the Oklahoma City Thunder being yet again the favorites in the West, and the surge of the Los Angeles Clippers, one team is always left out. A team currently with the best record in the NBA, yet again. Why? Is it because we have read this chapter before? We have seen this same act before, twice.
Two years ago, the San Antonio Spurs entered the playoffs the #1 seed and the hottest team in the league. Minus its star sixth-man Manu Ginobili, the Spurs got upset by a much younger, faster, and more physical Memphis Grizzlies team. Last year, same story, different book. The Spurs were again the #1 seed, had the best record in the NBA, and were making some NBA teams look like they should be put on the WAC College Basketball Conference. After making the Jazz look rather foolish in the 1st round of the playoffs, and then beating an inexperienced Los Angeles Clippers team, they faced the Oklahoma City in the Western Conference Finals. People were finally talking about the San Antonio Spurs, the quietest #1 seed this game has ever seen. Again, same story, different book. A younger, more explosive team got their jump-shots to go down consistently, and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the San Antonio Spurs to reach the NBA Finals.
Now, its 2012-2013. The Spurs sit at 39-12 closing in on the All-Star break, and again have the best record in the NBA. This San Antonio roster has not changed. They like the position they were in last season, and why not? They have an MVP candidate for the 2nd straight year in Tony Parker, an aging but still highly productive All-Star in Tim Duncan, and a couple of young studs in Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard. The San Antonio Spurs are reminding some of us NFL fans of Peyton Manning, one of the best to ever do it, but can they get it done in the post-season? Can they make up for their lack of speed with their superior level of execution no team can even match with? It’s time we give the San Antonio Spurs the credit they deserve. They are not going to “wow” you by throwing full court alley oops like the Miami Heat, or hitting 17 3′s in a game like the New York Knicks, and they do not have that “Lob City” ring to their name like the Los Angeles Clippers. What these 3 teams, and all other 26 do not have, is the level of execution and the attention to detail the Spurs have towards the game of basketball. The world needs to pay attention to how good, how deep, and how hard this team really is. They are slowly creeping up on the #1 seed in the West, and no one is taking notice, and that is just how Gregg Popovich likes it.