It’s been a long couple of months full of lineup swaps, 10-day contracts, and D-league call-ups due to battered and bruised teammates for the Spurs. Come Sunday night, however, the day-to-day lineup juggling runaway train should screech to a gratifying halt.
Tony Parker is the last member of the Spurs on the the injury report with only some recurring soreness to work out, but is expected to be suited up and reading to go Sunday night in a Lonestar shootout against the rival Mavericks.
To get things headed in the right direction for the “peak for playoffs” golden scenario that always seems to enshroud the Spurs organization, Kawhi Leonard’s return to play after a broken hand sidelined him for 14 games has helped the Spurs rattle off two quick wins after a tough loss to Phoenix last week. Leonard’s return also seemed to return the Spurs to their old form, handedly beating a Detroit team that is fighting for its playoff life.
In the Detroit game, the Spurs put out a near perfect box score (for San Antonio standards at least). Boasting an unprecedented 8 players in double digits and only one player, Tiago Splitter, playing over 30 minutes (30:06 to be exact), the Spurs couldn’t have asked for a more balanced and efficient path to victory.
With a week full of rumbling about possible buyout acquisitions targeting San Antonio as a playoff home, the Spurs proved that they are perfectly fine without any extra or unnecessary help.
Last night, the Spurs took on a hot Charlotte team at home and, once again, put out an impressive balanced effort to get the decisive victory (with some cool jerseys to top it off).
The box score wasn’t quite as eye-popping as the prior, but 6 players in double figures and 17 points and 16 boards from Duncan on 33 minutes is about as small of a step backward as you can get. Leonard looks like he never even took a month off either. Averaging 13.5 points in his two games back, he s already looking to bump up his season average of 11.7 points per game.
The Spurs aren’t necessarily winning these games in an overly decisive manner, but their balanced, continuous attack from both the starters and the bench wear down these middle of the road teams, making it easy to clench the victory in the 4th quarter. After all, the Spurs are 26-3 against sub .500 teams this season. They know how to get it done.
Heading into the home stretch of the regular season, it looks like the Spurs will have a solid 10-man rotation, each proving able to put up double digits on any given night in order to edge out a win. With Parker’s return Sunday night, the team should prove to be even more balanced as Coach Pop’s lineup experiments cease.