The San Antonio Spurs moved to 8-2 following their 126-100 route over the Denver Nuggets. The loss is Denver’s third consecutive loss, dropping last season’s No. 6 seed to 4-6 and a half game behind the last place Portland Trail Blazers in the Pacific division.
But as Denver coach George Karl noted, there was no NBA team that could have prevented the Spurs’ inevitable onslaught. Tony Parker led the team with six assists. His teammates, every Spur who wasn’t injured compiled at least one assist, contributed another 27 assists. The Spurs only topped 33 assists once last season.
These assists were possible because the Spurs perimeter shooters were dialed in. Subtracting forward Kawhi Leonard (knee) and Gary Neal (hand), converting on 40.4 percent of their 3-pointers last season, didn’t hurt their perimeter attack. Manu Ginobili compensated, making five of seven 3-pointers, as did Danny Green, Matt Bonner and Patty Mills, each of whom made multiple 3-pointers on the night.
The Spurs made 16 3-pointer in total, a mark only bested once last season. Their final ouput — 126 points — was also surpassed just once.
Unless the opposition was prepared to make every conceivable shot, there is no team with a legitimate shot of defeating the Spurs at their peak efficiency.
For the first time all season, they reached that peak.