You would be forgiven for thinking the Spurs might get upset in the first round against Utah. After all, the Jazz's bigs could have done exactly what Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol did to them the year before. I picked the Spurs to win the series, but going into the playoffs I wouldn't have been surprised to see the Jazz beat them in 6.
Looking back, I was an idiot.
I have to cut myself some slack. I mean, condensed season, dependence on youngsters, a 2-2 season split with the Rockets...
This didn't seem like a Spurs team that could win a championship. Simply put, they didn't remind me at all of the teams from '03, '05, or '07. They do kind of resemble the '99 squad, which was also during a lockout year.
Tim Duncan looks 28 again, Tony Parker can still get in the lane at will. Heck, Manu Ginobili doesn't even have to play that much anymore because they don't need him. Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, and even Boris Diaw have been revelations and are contributing serious minutes on offense and defense.
They're currently on a 16-game winning streak. Their last loss? April 11 to the Lakers. In the next 9 days, they played the Lakers twice more. They won by 23 and 24 points.
Looking at this current streak, it's almost impossible to believe that the scores are from Spurs games. I guess I'm too used to the Van Gundy teams playing the Spurs and saying that the first to 80 would win. During the streak, they have scored over 100 points 15 out of 16 times. They have score 110 points or more 8 of those times. Their closest game during that stretch was a 87-81 game against Utah in game 4. Neither the Jazz or Clippers have scored more than 92 points against them yet.
These are crazy stats! The ball movement is ridiculous, the team has no internal issues to speak of, and they're just rolling. The Spurs are on a different plane of existence right now.
Can anyone stop this train, or do the Spurs win their first even-year title? I guess I'll go on the record and say it's theirs to lose at this point. They're my pick.