This season has been pretty magical for the San Antonio Spurs thus far. With winning their 64th game of the season against the Toronto Raptors on Saturday marking a franchise record, this team is solely doing this with a supporting cast like no other. But what draws them to San Antonio?
The Spurs are on a quest for their sixth title in franchise history. Over the years San Antonio has grown to being a staple in the NBA. With their 64-12 mark this season, if what was going on across the bay with the Golden State Warriors, better believe this team will be getting more publicity than anyone.
San Antonio defines and displays what a team means. A team that normally does not make much noise in the offseason and trades during the season but this past one was different. San Antonio went out and got the most prized possession in LaMarcus Aldridge. With that signing, more and more players started to turn their heads in making their choice of playing for San Antonio.
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David West left millions on the table in Indiana to resign with the Pacers to join San Antonio. Kevin Martin and Andre Miller both asked for buyouts of their contracts to join San Antonio.
What is it about this team that makes players want to join? Surely seeing their unprecedented runs into the playoffs each year, 19th consecutive to be exact has an impact as well as the five trophies that sit in a trophy case when fans are walking through the AT&T Center.
Another note, how about playing for a well-respected coach like Gregg Popovich? Playing with Hall of Famers like Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili whom have been key contributors to San Antonio’s runs through the years.
What the Spurs have proven each year is that they strictly do this as a team. There are no ego’s, each player knows their roles and they each do it at a high-level. Kawhi Leonard and Aldridge have developed into a deadly one-two punch for the Spurs. Both have carried the Spurs night-in-night-out on both ends of the floor and Duncan, Parker and Ginobili know that they are the future of the franchise, and they are good with that.
For instance. Duncan and the Spurs battled with the Warriors at the AT&T Center, in that game Duncan played just eight minutes. He reportedly stated to Popovich that he was there if needed but will ride the rest of the way out. That is a future Hall of Famer that is willing to ride the bench and leave it in his teammates hands.
That is what this team is all about. Go with what works. What has successfully helped this team is the second unit. Patty Mills, Boris Diaw, Jonathon Simmons, Kyle Anderson, Boban Marjanovic, Martin, Miller and West have played quality minutes and have made the most of them as well.
Feb 21, 2016; Phoenix, AZ, USA; San Antonio Spurs guard Patty Mills (8) shoots against the Phoenix Suns during the first half at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
This season the Spurs have possibly the best second unit they have ever had in franchise history. Going back to knowing their roles, they don’t pout, throw a fit when they are replaced in the game. They simply provide quality minutes in crucial times and it pays off.
Having the luxury of this is key for a team. San Antonio which is the oldest team in the NBA are able to rest key players down stretches of games and still be in-line to win. Constant ball movement and continued flow on both ends of the ball makes for this team to be deadly.
Many aspects of this team makes it appealing for any player. Popovich is a genius and his knack for talent is incredible. Right now, what the team did on draft day to trade for the selection of Leonard is the cherry on top of everything. Leonard has grown into a star. The 24-year old has a lot of basketball ahead of him. He is only going to get stronger and better. He has already proven that his work ethic in the offseason is important. He has excelled into being one of the leagues prolific scorers.
Playing for Popovich brings out the best in every player. He treats everyone the same. Because you are the leading scorer, or hit a game winner, won most valuable players of even being a future Hall of Famer, that does not matter to Popovich.
He is leading a team that has accomplished goals this year for the franchise. Each player is the same as their coach. Not worried about what they accomplish through the regular season. Each has one goal on their mind and that is winning and raising another banner at the AT&T Center.
To each his own, this franchise is the definition of team. Their push at another title is on the right path. Each player from top to bottom plays an important role. Nobody goes outside or tries to do more than they need.
They truly are a well-oiled machine.