Sure, maybe the Spurs haven't been as dominant over the past week as they were to begin the season. San Antonio dropped a road game against the Clippers (bringing to an end the longest active win streak by one team against another) and narrowly squeaked past the Timberwolves at home. But from an overall perspective, they're still probably the West's best.
Offensively, they're a top three team, lagging behind only the Suns and the Lakers. But while the Lakers and Suns haven't replicated that success on the defensive end (L.A. was hovering around league average before they smashed the Kings, and Phoenix is stuck at dead last in the NBA), the Spurs have been more than three points above average. They rank behind only New Orleans (1st) and Dallas (2nd) in defensive efficiency in the conference. Their two biggest defensive strengths are their ability to stay away from fouls and a tendency to force turnovers.
At 16-3, the Spurs can buy themselves some early breathing room in the NBA's most difficult division.
This will go down as the last game under owner George Shinn in franchise history. By Wednesday, the official owner will be the NBA (or more specifically, the 29 other NBA teams). Since the team is under the tax, questions of how much money the new "owner" would spend are elementary at this point. However, if management wanted to exceed the luxury tax to acquire a new player (say, Iguodala), I highly doubt the NBA would approve it unless the associated earnings were projected to exceed the tax amount (hunch: they won't).
In any case, this will be the 1824th game in Hornet (and Shinn) history. The team has a cumulative 48% winning percentage since its inception.
David West will play tonight.
We'll play SA for a 4th and final time in January.