It's time to fear San Antonio

BY foxsports • February 9, 2011

By Michael Dugat

Despite having leapt from the gate to grab the best record in the NBA, it seems the Spurs still are hanging around fourth in most rankings when it comes to favorites to win the Finals. The Celtics, Heat and Lakers continue to be paraded as the teams to beat, with San Antonio being added as a less-than-equal mention.

You must at least mention the team that consistently has dominated the league to the tune of 43-8. But are the Spurs being taken as seriously as they deserve? Do opposing fans and analysts have a healthy fear of the Spurs?

Here are the top 10 reasons why the Spurs need to be taken more seriously:

10. At plus-7.12, San Antonio has the second-best point differential in the NBA. Over the past 20 seasons, the eventual champion has been ranked in the top two in this category 11 times. Should the leaders remain the same, that translates to a 55 percent chance of the Finals winner being either the Spurs or the Heat, who lead the league with a point differential of plus-7.92.

9. Tim Duncan isn't slumping as much as people think he is. Duncan remains far beneath his career low in minutes per game at 29, while also taking far fewer shots than we

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