These Spurs Aren’t The Same by John Schuhman, NBA.com
I'm not going to copy/paste the article itself since it's heavy on charts, but this is a great look at why this season's Spurs -- despite the identical roster, identical coaching staff, and identical record -- are much more qualified to win a championship than last year's.
These Spurs Aren’t The Same
Last year's Spurs were 11th in defensive efficiency, this year's are 3rd -- our highest rank since 2007-08.
When Duncan and Splitter are on the floor together, opposing teams average the lowest FG% in the paint of any two-man pairing in the NBA.
When Duncan, Splitter, and Leonard are on the floor together, opposing teams average a ridiculous 87.4 points per 100 possessions. By comparison, the Spurs on the whole average 98.7 points allowed per 100 possessions, which itself is still 3rd in the league. The league average is 102.9.
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