I can honestly say there is something really satisfying about watching these Spurs finish up their first two weeks of the new NBA season. I think it’s the fact that, like we prematurely guessed it, they are starting to look like contenders once again. Not that anyone really doubted them, but after a first round loss to the Clippers last year, we were left with a sour taste in our mouths as to what would’ve happened if that last layup wouldn’t of fallen in. Now with a whole new year upon us, we won’t have to stay with our “what ifs” anymore and can look ahead at bright road placed in front of us.
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In reality the Spurs only needed only two weeks to start meshing together and by the looks of it, they are starting to understand each other. They are now in the chase as they sit with the #2 seed at 8-2 trailing the Warriors by only 2 games. The Spurs have been one of the few teams in the past history that have never given their fans reason for doubt even when they’ve endured the worst. They always find a way to come out on top and secure a first round matchup in the playoffs.
It doesn’t seem like this year will be any different. Even better than that, they now seem like a team worthy of a trip back to the NBA Finals. With Aldridge finally finding his rhythm both offensively and defensively it’s starting to open up the floor for the rest of the team. Averaging 16.1 points and 8.8 rebounds, Aldridge is providing some much needed help offensively and it’s starting to show all around.
The team is slowly but surely coming together and it’s helping in different aspects of the game as guard
Nov 16, 2015; San Antonio, TX, USA; Portland Trail Blazers shooting guard C.J. McCollum (3) has his shot blocked by San Antonio Spurs small forward Kawhi Leonard (2) during the second half at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
Patty Mills stated to NBA.com after the Spurs win against the Charlotte Hornets back in November.
”It’s definitely a step in the right direction,” reserve guard Patty Mills said. ”We’re all learning each other and it’s good to know that when we have glimpses like that. It makes for an exciting sort of time, to know that if we can pull it all together and be more consistent with it, we’ll be all right.”
With this balanced effort, the Spurs are relying on each other down the stretch and it’s starting to surface. Duncan, no longer needed solely for his offense, has been able to stand firm on defense and defend the post. With Aldridge providing assistance down the paint, Tim Duncan can display more energy on the defensive side to help lock down shooters. He’s locking down opponents to less than 45% inside the paint while Kawhi Leonard takes care of perimeter defense.
Even Leonard is taking his game to the next level, if that’s even possible. He ranks third in the league in defensive rating and has managed to stop the prolific All Stars of the game. He’s held Durant to 6-for-19 shooting when they first met up and recently stopped Carmelo Anthony to 4 for 17 shooting. (Via SB Nation) When you have that Kawhi stepping up his game offensively as well as defensively, who know’s what these Spurs are capable of.
With Monday’s win over the Trailblazers 93-80, that makes it 5 in a row for the Spurs as they look to improve to 6 as they take on the Nuggets at home.