NBA Playoffs 2012: Why the San Antonio Spurs Will Be Unstoppable
Though the Spurs have been centered around Tim Duncan before, the team isn't merely based on his dominance anymore.
San Antonio was quietly a very different team this year than in the past in both playing time and playing style, which makes them undeniably unstoppable.
Variety is the spice of life
Youngsters like Daniel Green, Kawhi Leonard, DeJuan Blair and Tiago Splitter injected some youth into the Spurs this season. Veterans like Matt Bonner and Gary Neal added more solidity.
Then there's the midseason acquisitions of lanky forward Boris Diaw and gritty guard Stephen Jackson.
Diaw can ratchet his game up in the playoffs, which he showed with the Suns in 2006. Jackson has more playoff experience since last time he was around San Antonio, when the team won the NBA Championship in 2003.
Depth has been the name of the game in San Anton, and it's been orchestrated by the ever-creative Gregg Popovich.
Coach of the Year
For the second time in his 16-year career, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was named the best at his job in the NBA.
Despite dealing with an aging superstar in Duncan as well as Ginobili missing a significant chunk of the season, Popovich pushed the Spurs past the Oklahoma City Thunder for the first seed in the West.
Popovich utilized two full rotations, and some with the variety already mentioned.
Previously known as a shut-down defensive team, Coach Pop turned San Antonio into the best offensive squad in the league.
The last time Popovich won Coach of the Year in 2003, it boded well for the Spurs.
History repeats itself
Here's the sequence of events: The NBA players disagree with the plans of NBA owners. The owners lock the league out. In December, the two sides coalesce and hold a shortened season. The San Antonio Spurs finish the best record in the league.
That sure sounds familiar. But what comes next?
The Spurs stormed through the playoffs after the last lockout, riding a 15-2 run to capture the 1999 NBA championship.
Of course, that was a different time. Before it was 50 games, and this time it's 66. Before it was The Admiral and Co. playing alongside Duncan, while this time it's Parker, Ginobili and the rest.
But the script is there, and the Spurs appear poised to follow it.
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