Originally written December 14, 2012 on Project Spurs:
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Charles Barkley isn't a quiet guy, he'll tell you what he thinks even if it'll offend you. San Antonio Spurs fans know that the hard way, after all he's called the San Antonio women "fat." With exciting wins over the Oklahoma City Thunder and Memphis Grizzlies, you might be convinced that the Spurs were the best team in the West or at least that they're better than those teams they beat. Barkley has a differing opinion. He stated on the Dan Patrick Show that OKC is "by far" the best team in the West, followed by the Grizzlies, and then the Spurs at third. The Spurs are an older team and injury ridden, but at least for now you'd have to give them the nod as the better team out of those two.  The schedules have differed with San Antonio having the tougher schedule with a ridiculous amount of road games and back to back sets this early in the season. They've managed to go on winning streaks without their only two small forwards on the roster while resting their players for a good amount of minutes with a thin roster. If Chuck's argument is that the Thunder will come out of the West, that may be accurate, but that will depend on a full season of games and how a team's health is. If both teams are healthy, the Thunder may upset the Spurs again like they did last season and the Grizzlies also have that chance like they did once in the playoffs. Right now, the Spurs have the edge with a better bench than any of those teams. Without James Harden, Kevin Durant is the guy for the team for the majority of possessions and minutes. Serge Ibaka may fill that void since Kevin Martin has been streaky at best, but no one knows how that will translate in the postseason. The Spurs may be beaten up right now, but with a very tough schedule early on, the latter part of the schedule may favor them in the end. No one can know for sure what's going to happen, but as far as games between the teams, the Spurs have the edge over the other two for now.
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