Admit it. Among all the possibilities of how the San Antonio Spurs' season opener playing on the road against the Golden State Warriors, a blowout win and utter dominance from start to finish was the last thing on your mind.
It's okay. It's what makes games like that even more special. The unexpected joy of watching a team come together so early to defeat another team that was built to be unbeatable is something to be savored.
Pau Gasol looked like he was in mid-season form in terms of incorporating himself into the Spurs system. David Lee looked phenomenal off the bench. And Dewayne Dedmon looked like he was brought to San Antonio specifically for this matchup.
But those topics are for another time. We're here to celebrate the highlights that made Spurs fans jump for joy during their 129-100 victory over the defending Western Conference Champions. Here are the 10 best moments:
1. The Jonathon Simmons block
Defense wins championships. As we saw last year when LeBron James came out of nowhere to block Andre Iguodala late in the 4th quarter of Game 7 of the NBA Finals, a big defensive play can define a game or a series.
For the season opener between the Spurs and Warriors, this was it:
It encapsulates everything about that night and the journey of the two franchises. Just when you think the Warriors are pulling away in terms of wins, championships and success, here come the Spurs again!
2. Kawhi Leonard's steal and slam
Last year, Kawhi Leonard was in the discussion for being the best player in the NBA. It appears he's already gotten better, and that should scare everybody.
He's got a knock-down pull-up jumper now and he's got the energy to make incredible plays on both sides of the ball. But it's really fun when one leads to the other and he shows up Stephen Curry like he did last night.
Leonard outscored Curry 35-26 in the opener.
3. The Simmons buzzer-beater
The Spurs were able to accomplish what few could last year, which was to immediately put down any Warriors run before it got out of control. The Warriors never scored more than eight unanswered points and as the game went along, the spurts got shorter until San Antonio pulled away.
And it was shots like this that were absolutely demoralizing and an amazing highlight for Simmons' night.
JONATHON. SIMMONS. pic.twitter.com/ac7tUtAmwn— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) October 26, 2016
4. Aldridge's fadeaway
Remember when that rumor started that the Spurs may trade LaMarcus Aldridge before the deadline? The season-opener made that story feel like an eternity ago.
Aldridge is just too good, and he showed it on Tuesday night finishing with 26 points and 14 rebounds.
And fadeaways like that just highlight how frustrating it can be to guard Aldridge when he's got it going.
5. Simmons' poster dunk to finish the game
While Golden State fans were headed for the exits (or already in their cars), Simmons had one last big play in him to finish off his amazing night: 20 points on 8-14 shooting.
Spurs fans could get used to seeing that all season.
6. Tony Parker's spin move
As the roles shift and new stars emerge as the cornerstones of the franchise, Tony Parker's role is diminished, but that doesn't mean he can't still take over any given possession and show us that he's still got amazing moves to get him easy buckets.
Those TP spin moves 😍 pic.twitter.com/WNXeiv5f5q— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) October 26, 2016
Curry's head may still be spinning.
7. Beautiful bounce pass
If there was maybe one thing that LaMarcus Aldridge needed to work on coming into this season was how he works off the ball. This is a great sign that he's figured it out.
That teamwork tho 💪 pic.twitter.com/f4xFETfbEE— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) October 26, 2016
Teamwork makes a dream work!
8. Duncan fined
As a nationally televised TNT game, Gregg Popovich was forced to conduct an in-game interview. After the 1st quarter, David Aldridge asked Pop about missing Tim Duncan.
Pop let everyone know that he's not taking Duncan's retirement easily.
Timmy D may be gone, but Coach Pop is back in action. 😂 https://t.co/BTOEzGJ8ht— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) October 26, 2016
That money's going to add up.
9. Patty in the paint
You know who had the highest plus-minus ratio among all the Spurs in the opener? Patty Mills at +35. This play was particularly satisfying as he caught the Warriors assuming that he was just going to fire a three-pointer and turned it into an impressively fancy layup.
10. Simmons slash
One last time, we'll highlight Simmons, who might not have gotten as much playing time if Danny Green weren't out with an injury. Here he slashes to the basket and contorts himself to protect the ball, avoid contact, and finish the layup.
Bringin' that juice early! pic.twitter.com/dTO5D2hu6q— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) October 26, 2016
On Thursday, Spurs Nation will have to move on as they'll play the Sacramento Kings before returning to San Antonio for the home opener. But that first one was fun, wasn't it?
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