Time to take notice of Spurs' run

San Antonio is on a historic regular-season stretch that portends a champion

Originally Published: November 13, 2012
By Neil Paine | Basketball-Reference.com
Tim DuncanEzra Shaw/Getty ImagesTim Duncan and the Spurs just keep winning, but has anyone noticed?

Since the San Antonio Spurs were unceremoniously bounced from last season's playoffs with four straight losses to the Oklahoma City Thunder, you might be excused for forgetting the roll they were on immediately before their collapse. Here's a refresher: the 2011-12 Spurs went into the postseason on a 10-game winning streak, having won in 21 of their previous 23 outings, and tacked on 10 more wins in a row to start the playoffs.

The Thunder certainly interrupted that sequence, but by starting the 2012-13 season with a 6-1 record, San Antonio is in the midst of an impressive run of regular-season victories. Going back to last season, the Spurs have won 16 of their last 17 regular-season games, a 17-game stretch that has been bettered by just 14 teams in the entire history of the NBA (the most recent of which were the 2008-09 Celtics, which ultimately won 19 games in a row between mid-November and Christmas of 2008).

But the Spurs are like the basketball equivalent to Rodney Dangerfield. They get little acknowledgement of their success from the vast majority of fans. C'mon people, where's the respect?

Neil Paine writes for FiveThirtyEight, the data-supported sports, politics and culture site coming soon from ESPN.