When a player goes down with injury on a sports team, it focuses everyone else. They are all aware of how they have to step up and perform. Media and friends say they have lost the season and can't compete anymore. But when Manu goes down, there are still talented professional NBA-level players ready to take his place. Its not that bad!
So it was a surprise to notice that the Spurs were only two point favorites against Oklahoma City tonight. Oklahoma, the third worst team in the Western Conference! I mean lets get serious here. The Spurs lose Ginobili and they are only two point favorites?
Add this to the fact that the Spurs already lost once in OKC this year. The result is the Spurs won by ten. There is a pattern here with one supporting factor. Team loses a key player to a surprise injury and focus and step up their game. Supporting fact is the Spurs already lost once to Oklahoma and went through that embarassment once. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, ..... don't get fooled again.
Especially consider that the Spurs were blown out at Cleveland and Tim Duncan had a horrible game. I don't know how often he has back to back bad games, but he is a proven winner so it is doubtful. Champions can bounce back from a bad performance.
Another interesting thing to notice and observe in the coming days is the duration of their overachieving versus the spread. There is a human limit to over-exertion and human tendencies to relax (as already discussed). How long will the Spurs over-achieve? Two games? Three I'd assume at most before they return to their ways.