AT&T CENTER - Like death and taxes, the San Antonio Spurs figuring out a way to win is just the norm. Case in point, the team's 102-100 narrow win over the Hawks lead by Tim Duncan's game-winning shot and his 23 points and 21 rebounds.
But by now is anyone really surprised at the Spurs winning yet another game? By now it just might seem like another day at the office for Duncan and the silver and black.
Hawks' Elton Brand shares the same sentiment.
"They didn't do anything different or surprising," said Brand "They got stops when they needed and closed the game out."
Nothing different or surprising. Nothing fancy or flashy. Just like the Spurs want it. If they need a shot, they have Duncan who has been making clutch shots for years. He isn't an option, then they have Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker or players who know their role.
That sentence just sums up San Antonio the best possible way. They just run their system. They rely on it and since Duncan joined the team and the formation of the "Big Three," that system has given the franchise four NBA titles and countless playoff appearances.
Last night it was Duncan's time to shine (again) but the comforting aspect about the Spurs' "not surprising" execution down the stretch, is that any player could have been the hero. Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, Matt Bonner, Patty Mills, Marco Belinelli, whoever, could have been the shooter because they believe in the system coach Gregg Popovich has instilled.
Without the system, who knows where the Spurs might be. The definitively may not have gotten the stops or the shots to find a way to pull out wins.