|2010-11 Team Rating|
|1st Overall||7th Overall|
Stats through games of Jan. 15
While Tim Duncan saves his minutes (29.8) for the playoffs, Richard Jefferson, DeJuan Blair and the rest are asserting themselves and carrying Spurs to top of the heap.
Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker are both healthy for the first time in years and playing like All-Stars. Backups George Hill and Gary Neal provide high quality depth.
Coach Gregg Popovich has been harping on the defense since the season opener and it will have to grow teeth and get better to make a real championship run.
When you combine Hill, Neal, Matt Bonner, Antonio McDyess, Tiago Splitter and James Anderson, there are plenty of weapons available.
Pop switches from grind-it-out style to opening up the throttle on offense and doesn't miss a beat with his charming curmudgeon personality.
After they were swept out of the playoffs in the second round by the Suns, many thought the window of opportunity had slammed shut on the Spurs. But here they sit with the best record in the league at the halfway point.
It helps that Ginobili and Parker are not bothered by injuries for the first time in years. But the comfort and production levels reached by Jefferson in his second year with the team have also been significant.
The key stat so far is that Duncan is logging a career low in minutes, saving him for the playoffs. At 34, the Spurs are no longer asking him to be the tent pole that holds up everything. They've switched from pounding the ball into the low post to scoring in transition and taking the first good shot. As a result, that window to win the West stays open.
-- Fran Blinebury
Explanation of Marking System