Spurs on pace for historic season at home, but challenges loom

The Spurs have a chance to make history.
Soobum Im/Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

There have been some truly great home teams in the history of the NBA. The 1986 Boston Celtics went 40-1 in the Boston Garden. The Chicago Bulls went 39-2 in 1996 and 1997. And, more recently, LeBron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers went 39-2 in 2009. 

Today we have the San Antonio Spurs. And it’s time to start talking about just how good the Spurs are, especially at home. They’re 20-0 at the AT&T Center, and have both the talent and experience to remain undefeated the rest of the way:

San Antonio is led by Kawhi Leonard, a 24-year-old MVP candidate who’s arguably the best two-way player in the world. Behind him is a stable of Hall-of-Fame fixtures who’re still productive albeit past their prime, and LaMarcus Aldridge, a four-time All-Star who can take over any game at the drop of a hat.

The Spurs are deep, well-coached and mentally tough. On nights when Tim Duncan needs some rest, Gregg Popovich is perfectly fine inserting David West into the starting lineup and letting Boban Marjanovic and Boris Diaw treat their extended minutes like a buffet line.

The Spurs are blowing out teams by an average of 14.5 points per 100 possessions regardless of who is (or isn’t) on the floor for San Antonio. In fact, each of the Spurs’ three most-used lineups after the starters is outscoring opponents at a double-digits pace, a remarkable statistic that shows just how otherworldly and balanced they are right now. They’re more "assembly line" than "basketball team."

Most of their players have won a championship and just about all have competed in a hard-fought playoff series. Their defense is a brick wall that’s 50 feet high.

There’s still a lot of work to be done for San Antonio, of course. The Spurs host the Cavs once before the season ends, and both the Warriors and Thunder visit the AT&T Center twice in the coming months. Any — or all — of those games could end up as a loss. But if anyone can go undefeated at home, it’s the 2016 Spurs.

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