SI.Com Report Card On Spurs
Clipped from: sportsillustrated.cnn.com (share this clip)
A+ | They are on a 70-win pace without a viable MVP candidate — now that’s a team. Everyone has a specific role but is expected to be proficient in other areas. Manu Ginobili is a premier closer, and Tim Duncan and Tony Parker have postseason game-winners on their résumé, but no one is surprised if the likes of Gary Neal and Matt Bonner are called on to take the big shot. Much has been made, with good reason, of the Spurs’ up-tempo reforms on offense, but two other things to keep in mind: In the Gregg Popovich/Duncan era, the Spurs have almost always improved in the second half by tightening their defense; and they’re running away with the NBA’s best record despite little production from rookies James Anderson (who played six games before breaking his foot) and Tiago Splitter, and the fact that Richard Jefferson’s much-ballyhooed renaissance has been mostly hype.