David Aldridge, NBA.com — 1st (1st in West)
“Spurs have two winning streaks this season of 11 games or more after Sunday’s win over Utah. This may be Popovich’s best coaching job, and that’s saying a lot. But it’s also a testament to general manager R.C. Buford and the organization that continues to find players willing to totally buy in.”
The next longest winning streak this year? Miami’s nine gamer spanned Feb. 10- Mar. 1.
Sam Amico, Fox Sports.com — 2nd (2nd in West)
“Gregg Popovich to reporters on the recent keys to a game: “Just make it up and say I said it.” OK, how’s this? Practically unbeatable when Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker are on court together.”
ONLY POPOVICH ENDS OUR WINNING STREAKS. ONLY HIM. (I HAVE NO IDEA WHY I’M TYPING IN ALL CAPS).
Kurt Helin, Pro Basketball Talk — 1st (1st in West)
“Eleven wins in a row and they are percentage points ahead of the Thunder (and one ahead of them in the loss column). Are they title contenders? They have four rings with this core, have the best coach in the league and are a matchup problem for the Thunder. I still wonder about them against the big front lines of the Lakers or Grizzlies, but with a healthy Manu Ginobili it’s close. The Spurs need everything to go perfectly, but that’s what we said about the Mavericks last year.”
The Spurs are absolutely title contenders. Their defense isn’t exactly imposing and the average NBA Champion over the last 13 years has been, on average, fifth in defensive rating. But, with the No. 1 ranked offense, I don’t that is the only factor in playoff success.
John Hollinger, ESPN.com — 1st (1st in West)
Mike Monroe, Spurs Nation — 2nd (1st in West)
“Take a bow if you thought they’d be in first place in Western Conference on Easter Sunday.”
(Takes bow). Well, just kidding. I’m an ardent Spurs fan but even I couldn’t have predicted this amount of success.
John Schuhmann, NBA.com — 1st (1st in West)
“Only two Spurs, Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard, have played in all 11 games of their winning streak, and eight different guys, including Boris Diaw on Sunday, have started at least one of the 11. For most of the streak, they’ve been ridiculously efficient offensively, but won ugly in Boston on Wednesday.”
During the win streak, the Spurs scored an astounding 111.6 points per 100 possessions which is, to put it simply, pretty incredible. This run of offensive efficiency is less than one point worse than the 2009-10 Phoenix Suns averaged over the entire season.
Chris Sheridan, Sheridan Hoops — 1st (1st in West)
“Welcome to the top spot, Spurs. You have most definitely earned it. Have a 10-game winning streak to begin the week, with a pair of back-to-backs Sun-Mon and Wed-Thu. Is Pop going to stick to his plan to rest key players on the second night? Or is first place in the conference worth the risk? Have 3 games left vs. Lakers, and start next week with road back-to-back-to-back.”
The Spurs consolation for playing their basketball towards the end of the season? Three games against the Lakers and one against the Memphis and 0.68 games per day compared to 0.60 for OKC and 0.50 for Los Angeles.
Marc Stein, ESPN.com — 1st (1st in West)
“No other team has won more than nine straight games this season. The Spurs? They’re on their SECOND 11-game win streak of 2011-12. As Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News noted on Twitter, new Spur Boris Diaw has seen more wins since March 23 (10) than his old team (Charlotte) has all season.”
Now tell me, if the Spurs are so consistently excellent, why did Shane Battier, Caron Butler and Josh Howard spurn the Spurs for more aesthetically appealing destinations like Miami, Los Angeles and Utah (wait, what?). This constantly irks me even though I know the culprit — our small market. It’s unfair, really, but at this point I have no right to complain. The Spurs front office has consistently covered for their deficiencies in the open market as we’ve clearly witnessed this year.
Tom Ziller, SB Nation — 1st (1st in West)
“This is the second double-digit win streak of the season for the Spurs. Expect some more analysis downplaying San Antonio’s playoff chances based on last year’s first-round exit; please remember that Manu Ginobili busted up his arm entering that series. He looks healthy now. This team has always been different when he’s healthy.”
Yes, please do. Manu, even despite his usual scoring output, is still pretty important to this Spurs team. The ancillary things that Manu provides the Spurs are unquantifiable.
Composite ranking: 1st (1st in West)