Contenders: San Antonio Spurs

This season, the sun finally sets on Tim Duncan & Co.

Originally Published: September 11, 2012
By Chris Palmer | ESPN the Magazine
Gregg Popovich and Tim DuncanAP Photo/Bahram Mark SobhaniIs this the season when the Spurs finally fade?

Editor's note: This is the latest installment of a 12-part series this summer that will profile six Eastern Conference teams and six Western Conference teams that could knock off the Miami Heat. Today, we profile the San Antonio Spurs.

Overview

Right around this time every year, it's become an annual rite of passage for all-knowing experts and their ilk to write off the Spurs and their quest to add one more ring to the Gregg Popovich/Tim Duncan dynasty, which has stretched on and off for the better part of the past 13 years.

But the Spurs somehow keep proving those silly doubters wrong year after year. A huge reason is that the Spurs are extremely well-coached, a fact that points to San Antonio's team-first veteran players as much as to intensely stoic Popovich. From their practice to preparation to on-court execution, San Antonio has long been a well-oiled and businesslike machine. That precision and workmanlike quality have allowed the Spurs to weather old age and injuries while maximizing and seamlessly blending the abilities of core stars and young role players alike. It's a formula that has long been the stitching of their now faded dynasty.


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Chris Palmer

ESPN the Magazine