Unlike other teams, the Spurs were a defensive team, and they used this edge to help them win championships. Led by Tim Duncan and Bruce Bowen, offenses would be shut down by whenever the Spurs were in town.
However, the center of the defense, Tim Duncan, is growing old and no longer can be the powerful force in the middle that he once was. Gregg Popovich, the team's coach, announced that, due to this, the team has completely changed its style of play.
“We spend more time working on offense these days, because our defense won’t be as good as it used to be in the past. It just won’t," he said
Team captain Tim Duncan voiced his opinion on the matter: “You have to score a lot more points now. I don’t think it’s the league of old, where you can score in the 80s and defend your butt off and still win championships."
With the additions of Boris Diaw and Stephen Jackson, the team appears to be piecing together a team that they believe will bring the ring home to San Antonio.
Ranked fourth with 101.2 points per game, it is no question that the team has the talent to get it done on the offensive end. With Tony Parker having a career season, as well as Ginobili finally being healthy, the Spurs are one of the hottest teams in the league.
Whether or not this will transition well into the playoffs is a completely different story. However, the league has changed, and the Spurs' postseason track record reflects that. It has been five years since the team has made a trip to the finals, and if they want to bring home a fifth ring, a change is necessary.
Argentinean guard Manu Ginobili has come to the same verdict:
It’s good we can do it both ways. I think we’re trying to be more the other (defensive) kind of team, the way we won championships. The last few years, we’ve scored more but we haven’t won it.
If they do want to win it and add another banner to the rafters, it appears that this change is necessary. It has worked thus far in the season, as the Spurs have obtained the fourth-best record in the league. They have beaten the top seed in the West, the Oklahoma City Thunder, twice and appear to be one of the favorites from the West this season.