The San Antonio Spurs, perennially underrepresented in sports media, have been so phenomenally good this year that people are actually starting to write articles about them. There have been several nice ones recently.
- “Gregg Popovich’s Portable Program” by J. A. Adande. An analysis of how the Spurs’ culture has led to success, and why it is now the model that other teams–especially small-market teams–are attempting to emulate.
- “21 Shades of Gray” by Chris Ballard. A long and detailed character study of Tim Duncan, which ran as a cover story for Sports Illustrated.
- “The San Antonio Spurs Aren’t Boring” by Kevin Arnovitz. A detailed analysis of the Spurs “motion weak” offense, and why it is both so effective and so overlooked by NBA fans.
- John Hollinger, who I generally dislike for crimes against meaningful statistics, had a pretty great Per-Diem column on the Spurs’ season. You have to pay ESPN to read it, unless you manage to find it mirrored somewhere or something.
- “Kawhi Leonard not awed by finishing fourth in Rookie of the Year voting.” More specifically, he said, “I wasn’t really looking at the rankings. It’s an individual honor. Congratulations to whoever won it.” That is either the driest humor out of a rookie since, well, Tim Duncan, or Leonard is in fact a machine built to be a San Antonio Spur. Noteworthy also is that, of the top 12 vote-getters for ROY, Leonard is the only one still playing. Congrats to whoever won that individual award, indeed.
Some rare good sports reporting from the usual suspects. For statistically defensible analysis, though, the gold standard remains The Wages of Wins, with important statistical backup from NerdNumbers, The NBA Geek, and Baskteball-Reference.com