Are the Spurs peaking too early?

The San Antonio Spurs set a new record for the best start in franchise history and currently hold the best record in the NBA at 18-3. They are on a three game winning streak and are coming off an impressive 109-84 pounding over the New Orleans Hornets and a relatively easy 111-94 victory over the Golden State Warriors.

After 21 games, the Spurs rank 2nd in offensive efficiency rating, 5th in assist-to-turnover ratio, 7th in defensive efficiency rating and 5th in effective field goal percentage.

This team is different from last year.They are more consistent on both ends of the floor and are winning a lot of ball games early this season. However, with the way they are playing right now, could they be peaking too soon?

What I know is they took advantage of a relatively easy early season schedule and then later on won against some of the stronger teams in the league including the Oklahoma City Thunder, Chicago Bulls, New Orleans Hornets, Orlando Magic and the Utah Jazz.

They are playing good basketball, but if you watch the Spurs closely, they haven’t been that dominant in most of their games.

They had the habit of starting out slow and then regain momentum on the second half. So far this season, the Spurs have won at least four games coming from behind including twice against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Yes, I said the Timberwolves! The bottom line is, they are yet to display a full four quarters of Spurs basketball. Ok, maybe the recent 109-84 victory over the Hornets is an exception.   

Yes, Manu Ginobili is having an MVP caliber type of year, Tony Parker is finding more balance between scoring and passing, Richard Jefferson has been efficient and productive, George Hill is providing the needed offensive punch off the  bench, Matt Bonner is shooting the lights out on some given nights and rookie Gary Neal has been a pleasant surprise.

Manu_pointsupNevertheless, even with the great start, it is certain the Spurs has still a lot to improve.

They’ve managed to stay atop the NBA standings with Tim Duncan having a career low on points, rebounds and minutes per game and DeJuan Blair still adjusting to his new role as the team’s starting center.

And here’s more, Tiago Splitter has yet to find consistent playing time despite the reality that he could be a factor later this season and perhaps the post season. Right now, he’s still on the learning phase and will need to be patient with the Spurs’ very careful approach.

Rookie James Anderson is still sidelined with an injury, he has provided immediate impact early in the season before suffering a stress fracture. When he comes back, he will surely add more depth on the Spurs’ already deep backcourt rotation.  

But Spurs fans need to understand that this team cannot play at this high level game-in and game-out for the remainder of the season. They will drop one, two, or even three games in a row but it will be no cause for alarm. Look at the defending NBA champions Los Angeles Lakers. They recently suffered a four game losing streak. It happens. It’s the NBA. 

So while the Spurs are enjoying their best start in franchise history, one thing is for sure, this team has yet to reach it’s full potential and it’s not even close.

Now to answer the question on whether the Spurs are peaking too early . . . not at all.

What are your thoughts? Do you think the Spurs are peaking too early?