Twenty-two games into the season, the Spurs have eighteen wins, a perfect road record, and poise when it comes to finishing close games.
Despite the addition of seven new players to the roster this year, the Spurs sit comfortably in the second spot of the Western Conference, half a game behind the Golden State Warriors. The silver and black are winning by an average of 9.17 points. They also lead the league in mid-range scoring (22.1%), 3-point percentage (39.7%), and free throw percentage (81.6%). This offensive ability has paid off, especially in close games.
Three out of the Spurs’ last four games were close, consisting of only a one to two point difference within the last three minutes of regulation. Out of those three games, they only managed to make the contest against the Dallas Mavericks a multiple-possession game by the time of the final whistle.
In both other matches, one against the Washington Wizards and the other versus the Milwaukee Bucks, the Spurs actually trailed within the last 24 seconds. However, thanks to a 3-pointer from Danny Green with 19 seconds left against the Wizards, the Spurs took the lead and eventually won. Similarly, against the Bucks, LaMarcus Aldridge made a few clutch shots, including the game winner.
Although it’s still early in the season, the Spurs’ 39.7% free throw shooting tops last year’s 37.5%, while their overall field goal percentage sits 4 points lower than last year at 48.8%.
In addition to their offensive effectiveness, the Spurs bench has also continued to work together making an impact on game outcomes. Over the last 3 games, Dewayne Dedmon, Patty Mills, and Kyle Anderson have each scored in double digits at least once. In their 97-96 win against the Bucks, every Spurs player, including the entire bench, scored.
Despite their effectiveness, the Spurs bench net rating places them 3rd in the league behind the Toronto Raptors and Golden State. Still, an 18-4 record and the second-spot in the Western Conference isn’t a bad start in the least.