Close your eyes … think quickly … and without looking at the current NBA standings … say out loud the name of the team which you believe is now the 2nd best in the Western Conference, trailing only the LA Lakers, and leading its division with an overall 31-14/.689 W-L record?
Last year’s Cinderella team, the New Orleans Hornets, led by their superstar PG, Chris Paul?
The Houston Rockets, with their three-headed monster of Yao Ming, T-Mac & Ron Artest?
The re-surgent Denver Nuggets, with the return of Mr. Big Shot?
The New Kids On The Block, in the Pacific Northwest, who will be a force to be reckoned with in the years to come, led by Brandon Roy and Greg Oden?
0-4, so far.
After starting the season with a dismal 2-5 mark …
* With their 2nd best player on the shelf, still recuperating from off-season ankle surgery, and
* With their 3rd best player on the sidelines, as well, with a severely twisted ankle injury of his own, and
* With the grey showing in the beards of their head coach, their best player overall, and his long-time [trusted] side-kick,
the San Antonio Spurs seemed to be wobbling noticably, on their last legs, as the class of the WC for the better part of the last decade.
Yet, lo and behold … three months later … there they are, again, positioned towards the very top of the NBA standings with the 5th best W-L record in the entire league.
Talent? Toughness? Guile? A combination of all three? Or, perhaps, some Vodoo?
It doesn’t really matter what the specific reason is.
The simple fact is … when all is said and done … there is no other team in the League today which this corner of the net R.E.S.P.E.C.T.S. more than the Men in Black from San Antone …
led by RC Buford [GM], Gregg Popovich, and stalwarts Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker.
With a very interesting player roster that now looks like THIS … it says here & now that the Spurs will NOT be going away this season without a Fight to the Finish, and in fact stand as good a chance of returning to the Conference Finals, as do any of the other TOP NOTCH outfits across the league today.
Kudos to all concerned!
… for the first-class way in which they choose to operate their GOLD STAR franchise, in the NBA, year after year after year.