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June 25, 2005

20-Second Timeout: How Sweet It Is!

How sweet it is!

Itís hard to say that this title is any sweeter than than the others, but it is safe to say the Spurs faced a tougher team in the Finals, and had to overcome more adversity than they did in '99 and '03.

To knock off the defending champs and to show the grit and toughness that some so-called experts called into question makes this title all the more rewarding. In Game 7, Tim Duncan showed why he is the best power forward of all time. Even though he shot just 10-of-27 from the field, he was the main reason the Detroit big men got in foul trouble, and his work at the defensive end and on the boards was stellar.


Tim savors his MVP and NBA trophies.
Duncan had plenty of help, however. The non-stop energy of Manu Ginobili defined this ball club. Whether he was deflecting a pass, diving for a loose ball, or going on one his familiar fearless drives to the basket, Ginobili has become the most important international player in the NBA. Bruce Bowen's defense throughout the playoffs was constant, and he successfully guarded players from point guard to power forwards, post up players to three-point shooters. Bowen's play was relentless and selfless. The defining moment of the finals may have been the clutch three-pointer by Robert Horry in Game 5, who now gets sized up for his 6th ring.

The Spurs coaching staff deserves major kudos as well. Whether it was a subtle change like putting Bruce Bowen on Chauncey Billups or throwing an occasional change-up zone defense at Detroit, or a shortening of the rotation to utilize the ball-handling skills of Brent Barry, Gregg Popovich and his staff pushed the right buttons, and the Spurs fans can now party like its 1999...or 2003...or 2005!

Yes, itís Fiesta Time!