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San Antonio Looking Strong Early in NBA Season

The old guard is still standing when opponents come to San Antonio to take on the Spurs, but a few new faces have been added in an attempt to win another NBA title before the old guard calls it a career.

Just one photo from each of the four NBA championships the Spurs have won is a reminder of their past as you walk towards their locker room.

Inside the locker room hang the jerseys of the three players that have done the most to bring those championships to San Antonio – Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili.

San Antonio has won 50 games or more in 14 consecutive seasons an NBA record. The same coach Gregg Popovich has coached the Spurs for 18 seasons, the same big man for 16 seasons and the Big Three have been the same for a decade. The franchise is steeped in history.

While much might look the same, the franchise continues to evolve. Last season for example, the Spurs became the first time to eliminate the use text on the front of their jerseys, when they chose to use just a large spur.

Duncan and Manu Ginobili who are 37 and 36 years old respectively will soon be retired. However, the new guard led by Kawhi Leonard is maturing to take the reins when the veterans have moved on.

A couple of roster changes have been made to the Spurs, but 12 players have returned from the last season’s team that was just 28 seconds from another NBA title.

Ten of the 12 returning were also with the Spurs in the 2011-12 season, when San Antonio was up 2-0 against Oklahoma City and lost the Western Conference finals.

With their ages being a slight disadvantage, their experience is their biggest advantage and if the start to their season 12-1 is any indication, the Spurs could be back in the NBA finals ago this year. It is their best start in three seasons.

The other contenders from the West – Clippers, Thunders, Warriors and Rockets are learning about themselves as they play, while San Antonio already knows.

The Spurs at this point are second in defense efficiency in the league, behind just the Indiana Pacers who are also 12-1.

The offense is playing adequately but could become more efficient as the season goes forward. If Duncan can improve on his shooting and the rest of the team can find their offensive rhythm then things should be just fine for the Spurs.

San Antonio is hoping that the slight changes made to the roster will give this season’s team what it needs to reach other NBA final. However, this season they want to take home the title for the old guard, who richly deserve it.

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