The NBA recently made the 2014-15 regular season schedule available. This is only exciting because it means that basketball season is drawing closer. Maybe for some teams this is a big deal. Some organizations in the league may depend on a long home stretch after the All-Star break or worry about an early road trip, but the San Antonio Spurs are not some organizations.
Dating back to the 1997-98 season, the Spurs have only won less than 50 games one time; that was in 1999 when the season was 50 games long, and San Antonio won 37 games. San Antonio has made the playoffs every year in that span and has finished no lower than second in the division, winning it 11 times including the last four years. The Spurs’ winning percentage has not dropped below .610 in that time.
Under the current regime, the Spurs have simply dominated the regular season. While it is interesting to see that the Spurs will start the season at home against the Dallas Mavericks, it doesn’t matter. At the same time, it is exciting to see that the Spurs will play the Oklahoma City Thunder on Christmas Day, but it still doesn’t matter. San Antonio went 0-4 against the Thunder during the regular season last year, but that didn’t matter. At the end of the day, the regular season is full of amazing plays and exciting matchups, but the regular season is just a way to position the teams for the playoffs.
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich is the master of balancing minutes within his roster. Last year, no player averaged over 30 minutes of play for Pop, and the team still managed to achieve the best record in the league. As the regular season approaches, one thing is certain: the Spurs will win. Maybe the stars will play, maybe they’ll sit, but San Antonio will win. Then the playoffs will start, and the Spurs will be chasing their sixth title.