Have they already printed tickets for next year’s Western Conference final rematch between Golden State and Oklahoma City? Sure, this year’s version was epic, and Kevin Durant may be comparing dental plans between the two. But what about the franchise who hasn’t failed to win 50 games since 1997?
No, seriously: 1997
Tim Duncan was no more popular than Duncan Sheik.
The Spurs had the best point differential in NBA history this year, at +10.6 per game.
The Spurs set a franchise record for wins in a season this year, with 67.
A dozen more than OKC.
The Spurs ranked #1 in defensive efficiency this year.
The Spurs ranked #4 in offensive efficiency this year.
No one else was top 5 in both.
And Gregg Popovich says hello.
It was his Spurs that first switched any and all GSW screens in a March win where the Warriors were muffled to 79 points–just 36 below their average.
Finally, it should be noted that the Spurs are….the Spurs.
If you can remember way, way, way back…to May of this year…San Antonio had a 2-1 lead over the Thunder, throttling OKC in Game 1 of that series by 32. One more bucket in Game 2, and the Spurs are up 3-0 on OKC.
All that said, the Spurs have won just one playoff series in the last two post-seasons. Third fiddle out west is new territory for them. Is it temporary? Does that current placeholder make it easier for Durant to join them without fear of the frontrunning backlash that would surely accompany him fourth-wheeling the established Warriors?
Ringo Starr he ain’t.
There are many reasons for Durant to stay in Oklahoma, chief among them are green. I expect him to. But if he goes, there’s only one place that makes sense to me, knowing he’s said this will be a “basketball decision.”
Basketball decisions are made in San Antonio.