The Indiana Pacers (8-0) remain the NBA’s only unbeaten team, but the San Antonio Spurs are quietly right behind them at 8-1 — clearly not feeling the effects of Father Time. Why? Because Gregg Popovich is an evil genius, of course! Okay, not really, but he’s managing minutes in expert fashion, relying heavily on his strong bench units while Tim Duncan continues to struggle from the floor (1-12 from the field Wednesday night — the worst shooting performance of his career).
Ten Spurs players logged at least 15 minutes — none cracked the 26-minute barrier — in a 92-79 win over the Washington Wizards, in a game that wasn’t even that close. In fact, Pop has his rotation so dialed in, and trusts his second and third units so much, that no Spurs player is averaging more than 28 minutes per game this season, save for Tony Parker (30.8 mpg).
After Wednesday’s thrashing, recently acquired Wizards center Marcin Gortat made an apt comparison to San Antonio’s offense:
“San Antonio runs offense perfectly. It was like listening to Mozart,” Wizards center Marcin Gortat said. “It’s just ridiculous how they play.”
Second-year shooting guard Bradley Beal echoed the sentiment:
“When you have a team like that, not just the first group, but the second group plays the exact same way and the third group plays the same way,” Wizards guard Bradley Beal said. “So it’s really tough when you have a team like that who is capable of just moving the ball, passing the ball, cutting every second, and not getting tired on top of that.”
Obviously, both Gortat and Beal were referring to the Spurs’ offense as a whole, but the garbage time razzle-dazzle you see above shows what even the Spurs’ end-of-the-bench unit is capable of, and why everyone should be scared of them. Again.