Written by Randy Watson
After reeling off a ridiculous 13 wins in a row, the Spurs dropped two straight. This week they looked like world-beaters again winning three in a row, and knocking off the rival Pistons in the process.
San Antonio currently has the third best record in the West. . .and in the entire NBA. If the past week is any indication of what’s to come, the Spurs look to be getting fired up for the upcoming playoffs. The current win streak featured a 90-72 slapdown of the sinking Pacers, a one-point victory over the Pistons, and a massacre by 41 of lowly Seattle. What’s more--with just under a month left in the season, San Antonio has already wrapped up a playoff spot.
Against the Pacers, Tim Duncan helped his team regain the form that allowed them to run off such a wicked streak by going 11 of 16 from the field for the game--19 points of which came before halftime. The Spurs seemed to play with more focus, desire, and aggressiveness in this game than in the previous two.
In the game against Detroit, Tony Parker went for 22 points, and Tim Duncan scored 17 points and pulled down 14 rebounds. No doubt the Spurs were looking at this game as a possible foreshadowing of a possible NBA Finals match-up. Although the Spurs led most of the second half, it was still a gritty performance, and coach Popovich said that the game had all the excitement of a playoff game.
On Sunday, San Antonio rained on the Seattle Supersonics’ parade, 120-79, and were led by Manu Ginobili’s 19 points, 3 steals, and 4 rebounds. The Argentine was deadly from long-range, burying 5 of 9 from behind the arc. What was most impressive, was the fact that he did his damage in just 25 minutes, as lots of bench players saw the court.
Dallas seems to be the team to beat at this point, and San Antonio—at 9 games back--will have an almost impossible time catching the Mavs, but Phoenix is a different story. Phoenix is three games up on the Spurs, but with the way the boys in black are playing, the heat may be on the Suns.