"Here's my issue: the San Antonio Spurs were already kind of iffy in watchability last year, and now they're a worse squad," said a USA Today article on Monday. A 123-point performance and several highlight plays later, that's beginning to look like a foolish claim.
Of course, the Spurs were facing a rebuilding Orlando Magic squad that barely had the number of bodies you'd expect to have on opening night. The dynamic performance, while impressive, should come with the caveat that this wasn't the usual level of competition San Antonio can expect.
It's obviously too early to label this team as better or worse than last year's Spurs. What's not in question, however, is that they'll be a ton more fun to watch.
"My first year was pretty much run through LA (LaMarcus Aldridge) exclusively," said Derrick White after the game. "[Now] there's just more spacing, playing up and down, in and out, whoever gets it goes. It's a lot different than teams in the past."
That's putting it lightly. By the end of the night, the Spurs had seven guys in double figures, led by 21-year-old Devin Vassell's 19. Outscoring Orlando 26-6 in the fast break, the game was full of exciting plays in the open court, particularly in a 33-point third quarter that saw the Spurs break the game wide open. "That's the energy we want to have," said Vassell after the game.
The 123-97 victory might not be a nightly occurrence for these Spurs, but as I pointed out in the preseason, these are far from the grind-out, slow-paced squads of the past. The NBA didn't get the memo when they put San Antonio on the national spotlight for just one game this season. Clearly, USA Today didn't get the memo either.
"In a league where shooting is a must, beyond Doug McDermott, they don't have much," said the article. "I can't see myself getting excited about a Spurs game this year."
That's all fine and good, Mr. Curtis. We're all entitled to our opinions, and sometimes they're wrong. No big deal. If you truly believe the Cleveland Cavaliers or Houston Rockets will be more fun to watch -- hey, have fun. But Wednesday's rout of Orlando was just a taste of things to come from the Alamo City this season.
Even though they already have a rough stretch ahead, you can bet this energetic team will provide their fans with highlight reel plays each time they hit the court. Ignore them at your own peril.