Best Team Ever?
You hear it all the time. Whenever a team goes on a historical hot-streak then everyone jumps on the bandwagon and claims they are the best ever. Surprisingly, the San Antonio Spurs have just set the record for most consecutive wins, for a streak that links the end of the regular season into the playoffs, and did so pretty much without any recognition. With their 20th win in a row last night, 120-111 against the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Spurs separated themselves from the 2001 Lakers who had also won 19 consecutive during their title run season before losing to the Philadelphia 76ers in game 1 of the Finals.
After a 17 point first half, Tony Parker let it be known that he was every bit deserving of that MVP award as Lebron James was. “Tony’s been great all year,” Spurs’ coach Gregg Popovich said. “He’s been really focused the entire season.” Granted, OKC is not a premiere defensive team, but Parker literally tore them apart like a bulldog with a new toy. I will be the first to admit my previous dislike of the Spurs, mainly because of the Championship smack-down they laid on my Knicks in the last strike-shortened season, but the unbelievable teamwork and the top quality performances that the Spurs have been putting out on a nightly basis leave me in awe. From top to bottom, the Spurs have no holes. There was a point in last night’s game during the third quarter where all five players on the court for the SAS were bench players, while OKC had out their top 3 scorers, Westbrook, Durant and Harden and their best two defenders Ibaka and Perkins. Instead of relinquishing the lead that the starters had built, the Spurs seemed to build even more momentum.
As the fourth quarter was winding down, I was really hoping that OKC could go on a run and make it game, Unfortunately for them, every time that the Thunder were able to cut the once 22 point deficit down to 7 or 8, the Spurs would just drain a run-stopping shot like it was nothing. I have personally never seen a team this flawless since the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls 1995-96 team, which went on to win an NBA record 72 regular season game and one of Michael’s 6 championships. From the Spurs leading scorer, Tony Parker 21 points a game, all the way down to their 11th leading scorer, Matt Bonner’s 4 PPG, the Spurs can hurt you from anywhere and with anyone. At this point in the playoffs, I can’t feasibly bet the Spurs to lose even one game with the way they are playing. If the Spurs do sweep through the Thunder just like I expect them to, the Celtics or more likely the Heat should be prepared to manhandled. I am now jumping on the bandwagon!