With almost one week completed in the 2012-2013 NBA campaign, one team has stood as the best in the league—the San Antonio Spurs.
Beginning with their convincing victory over the young New Orleans Hornets, followed by squeaking out a nail biter against the powerhouse Oklahoma City Thunder, the Spurs took down the Utah Jazz on Saturday.
With a 3-0 start to their season, the Spurs seemed primed to take the league by storm with veteran leadership and a team-first attitude. For the past several years, the Spurs have been a consistent 50-win team, and a fixture in the postseason. However, the Spurs always seem to enter the postseason under-the-radar. Now, with a big win over the Thunder, the Spurs are in the limelight, and everybody is looking at them as the West’s top dog.
The reason San Antonio is being treated different this season is the fact that Tim Duncan, one of the greatest power forwards to play in the league, has been rejuvenated. Even though it is a small sampling of three games, Duncan is showing shades of the player who carried the Spurs to the 2003, and 2007 NBA Finals as he is scoring 21 a game and grabbing 10 rebounds a game. With Duncan turning back the clock, the Spurs are as dangerous as ever.
Besides the Big Fundamentals strong start to this season, Tony Parker continues to morph into one of the best point guards in the entire league. Over time, beginning when he earned 2007 Finals MVP honors, Parker has been taking the role as leader for this Spurs squad from Duncan, and finally this is Parker’s team to run. With similar stats to those Duncan has, averaging 21 points and 9 assists through three games. Parker is a dual-threat player with a great shot, knocking down 46% of his shots, and is primed to be a contender in the MVP race
Another improvement the Spurs have this season is Kawhi Leonard. The second-year pro performed fine in his rookie campaign, but this season, he is prepared to be a go-to-guy in this well-rounded Spurs offense. A pesky defender, with a great knack for the ball, Leonard is prepared to take on San Antonio’s opponents’ best wing player, and wreak havoc throughout the game.
The Spurs secret weapon though, is yet to come. Besides Saturday night’s small role, Manu Ginobili has yet to be a part of the Spurs rotation due to injury. Playing the 6th man role behind Danny Green, the 35-year-old from Argentina will be that spark off the bench that will complement Parker and Duncan very well.
The Spurs have weapons on both sides of the ball making them matchup nightmares for any team trying to prepare for them. With strong play from their veteran leaders like Duncan and Ginobili mixed in with the young energy brought to the court by Kawhi Leonard, the Spurs are primed to control the Western Conference for much of the NBA season, and take their dominance into the postseason.