Is this year's incarnation of the San Antonio Spurs the greatest team the NBA has ever seen? Blasphemy, you say. Way too early to claim that, you argue. While it is true that it is too early to definitively claim that the Spurs are the best team ever - they haven't even made it to the NBA Finals - they are well on their way to grabbing the G.O.A.T. tag.
In trouncing the Oklahoma City Thunder last night, the Spurs have now won 20-straight games, a NBA record for combined regular season and playoff games. And they are one win away from tying the 1989 and 2001 Lakers, who both won 11-straight playoff games. No NBA team has gone through a full playoff schedule undefeated (a couple have done it only dropping one game, most recently the aforementioned 2001 Lakers), and while the Spurs will still be hard-pressed to stay unblemished, it is also hard to vision a team beating them at this point.
It isn't so much that the Spurs are winning - it's how they are winning. With a surgical precision, they are dissecting every team they have faced thus far in the playoffs. Their opponents just don't have an answer for the Spurs, and when they think they do have them figured out, Popovich's crew just changes things up and go back into assassin mode. Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili are three of the most unselfish superstars the game has seen (especially when you consider the era of the sport that they are playing in) and every player on the team, from 1 to 15, acknowledges and embraces their role on the team. In the truest sense of the word "team", you could argue that these Spurs really are the greatest ever (once again, especially considering the era they are playing in). This team is truly greater than the sum of its parts and go about their business like machines. No egos. No fuss. No muss.
But, yes, it is still premature to put the 2011/12 Spurs in the "Greatest Team Of All-Time" conversation - but just give it about three weeks.