HOUSTON – 12 days ago, I wrote a column with some very specific data that was showing several parallels on the defensive side of the ball between the current 2013 San Antonio Spurs and the teams of their past championships: 2003, 2005, and 2007.
Being that it is All-Star weekend, I was presented with the opportunity to ask Spurs All-Star forward Tim Duncan about some of the parallels I had found in my column and if he could speak on the team’s defense this season as opposed to the past few seasons.
Duncan first spoke on the Spurs’ improved defense this season, which he says was a key from the beginning of the season.
“It’s been a focus for us,” said Duncan of the Spurs’ defense this season, “It was a key for us. Pop made it a key to start training camp and we have responded.”
I then asked Duncan if he feels this year’s Spurs team is confident they can shut down a team in crunch time when the games become close.
“I don’t think we’re there yet, but we have the ability to be there,” Duncan told me. “We’re not there halfway through the season, but that’s the team we want to be at the end of the year.”
“With three minutes left in the game, we want to be able to sit down and lock people down by making stops we know we are capable of making.”
It’s still just February and there’s still a lot of basketball to be played, but as Duncan said today, the Spurs have the capability to once again be a defensive force that can get stops when they matter most.