Originally written on Project Spurs  |  Last updated 10/24/12
During the San Antonio Spurs championship reign, the franchise captured four NBA titles predicated on stellar defense. The Spurs would defy any team from scoring and their defense was the epitome of the saying, "Offense wins games but defense wins championships." However, that was then, this is now. The Spurs haven't won a title since 2007 and it coincides with not only the loss of key defensive players (Bruce Bowen and David Robinson) but a shift to more of an offensive game. But if the Spurs want to keep their championship form and remain one of the NBA's elite, Manu Ginobili says the team must improve on defense this season. "If we want to be one of the best five teams in the league, we got to improve our defense compared to last year," he said. "We can't rely on our offense, where we're going to shoot forty-plus percent from three and stuff like that. We got to get better defensively and we have not yet." And with training camp ending and tipoff of the Spurs' regular season right around the corner, Ginobili has not seen much improvement on defense. "For brief periods, we do play good defense and then we kind of slow down. Sometimes preseason is hard because you got on the court, groups that haven't played together before. That's why the last game is going to be very important for us." So with this focus on defense, Manu points out exactly what the team is focusing on the defensive end. "Transition 'D' mainly. But then rotations, contesting shooters, chasing better. There's plenty of things we got to get better." Indeed the Spurs have slipped much defensively since their last title in 2007. That season, the Spurs ranked second in the NBA in defensive rating at 99.9 points allowed per 100 possessions. They also were first in holding teams to only 90.1 points per game. Since then, its been a slippery slope. In 2007-08 the team dropped a bit holding teams to 90.6 points per game (3rd in the league) and had a defensive rating of 101.8 (3rd in the league). In 2008-09, the team had a spike holding teams to 93.3 points per game good for 2nd in the NBA but the team's defensive rating spiked to 104.3 points allowed per 100 possessions. In the 2009-10 season, San Antonio finished 8th in points allowed at 96.3 (defensive rating at 104.5 points). In 2010-11 the Spurs allowed 98 points good for 14th place in the NBA (defensive rating at 105.6 points) and last season the team allowed 96.5 points per game placing them 16th in the league (defensive rating at 103.2 points). If defense wins championships, then perhaps Manu is right. The team must go back to their defensive roots, but do they have a roster to do so? What do you think Spurs fans? Do you agree with Manu? Let's hear what you have to say.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Jimmy Butler on Derrick Rose: ‘I don’t think we have any issues’

Yankees get A-Rod's 3,000th hit ball for $150,000 donation

Report: DeAndre Jordan 'torn' between Clippers, Mavericks

Russell Wilson 'would definitely consider' playing for Mariners

Lakers apologize for first, get second meeting with Aldridge

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Mike Scioscia: Josh Hamilton should apologize to Arte Moreno

Sacramento Kings continue to be an utter disaster

Report: Cowboys believe Bryant is bluffing about missing games

Steel workers on Kings arena wrote ‘Go Warriors’ on materials

Report: Cavs could put Love on trading block within next year

Red Sox GM: 'Time to think about' team being sellers

Five reasons the Browns should play Johnny Manziel

Blue Jays need rookies to keep producing for success in 2015

WATCH: Sean Doolittle gets cup check from teammate

University of Florida developing high-tech smart mouth guard

Pat McAfee is the best punter in NFL history

Mets coach on slump: The only thing left is human sacrifice

MLB teams who will continue to surprise in second half

2015 Women’s World Cup Final: The Rematch

Answering the five biggest questions in NBA free agency

Report: Mavericks sign Wes Matthews to four-year contract

Dwyane Wade celebrates deal with tea, painted toenails

Coach K at fan town hall: 'I have no thoughts on retiring'

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Russell Wilson 'would definitely consider' playing for Mariners

Solo, Rapinoe among USWNT stars up for World Cup awards

LBS on Sports Jeopardy! Here's how how it went

College football's 35 most patriotic helmets

A brief history of non-star All-Stars

With Love retained, the Cavs can take care of LeBron

Grading the deal: Davis commits to Pelicans

Obama Administration: Change name if Redskins move to D.C.

Deciding what the All-Star Game means

Odell Beckham Jr. offered professional baseball contract

Orioles keep finding a way to win

Lloyd sends USWNT to World Cup final

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.