Originally written on Project Spurs  |  Last updated 1/17/13
We've seen an emergence of a youthful Tim Duncan this year as the San Antonio Spurs are impressing the critics that once called them "too old." Manu Ginobili has thrown impressive passes and we're seeing the rise of Tiago Splitter that's been expected of him since he first was signed by the Spurs. That's all well and good for some fans, but the majority of the base won't remember them next year. If you ask a Spurs fan about memorable highlights the past few seasons, they may come up with one or two (especially from Ginobili), but they'll agree on one thing and that's that the year was wasted because the team didn't win an NBA title. To the Silver and Black faithful, the only way the year is a success is if the Spurs are the last team standing in June and there's a party down the River Walk. The fans aren't the only ones focusing on the playoffs already, coach Gregg Popovich is too. After the Spurs defeated the Memphis Grizzlies 103-82 last night, Pop revealed if he has his sights set on the regular season. "That's not a goal of ours. We only have one goal. We don't start any season saying we want to win this many games by this time of year and that kind of thing."   With Duncan's career coming to an end, the Spurs know their championship hopes are in the same boat. Once Duncan leaves, the veteran leadership he brings goes along with him and probably a few more players including the head coach.   The team doesn't have the luxury they once did of being patient until the next year, they have to win a title for this year. When players fade into the sunset, no one remembers the regular season games they had.   When Karl Malone's name pops up, he may be regarded as the second greatest power forward of all time, but the talk about championships always follows. When Shaquille O'Neal is mentioned, his dominance and championships belong together.   The same is with Duncan.   He's got his Hall of Fame resume completed, but the team and its fans want to say goodbye the same way they did to legend David Robinson.   While Duncan's youthful performances are impressive, unless a title comes along with it they'll fade like the season will. That's not Pop's strategy for the season, especially when you remember how he's sat his players because of a difficult schedule early on and have won games with their depth. Pop's strategies always come with a long term goal even if it means there's some type of loss in the short term.   Popovich's view on the bigger picture is what makes him what he is and one of the greatest coaches of all time knows there's still room for another title ring on his thumb.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Miguel Cabrera headed to disabled list for 1st time in career

Report: San Antonio Spurs to sign LaMarcus Aldridge

WATCH: Serena Williams wags finger at Wimbledon crowd, says, 'Don’t try me'

Report: Rajon Rondo headed to Sacramento Kings

Dez Bryant deal with Cowboys could be announced Monday

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Brandon Saad, Ryan O’Reilly sign long-term contracts with Columbus, Buffalo

Mavs solidify future, sign Wesley Matthews, DeAndre Jordan

A-Rod, Yankees settle dispute over home run milestone bonus

Report: Robin Lopez, Knicks finalizing four-year deal

Becky Hammon will coach Spurs' Summer League team

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

Report: Green Bay Packers’ player charged with firing a gun in Miami

Kawhi, LaMarcus, the mid-range and the Spurs' next epoch

Tennis: How can Rafael Nadal regain his dominance?

NBA Rumors: Cavs and Spurs vying for David West

Damian Lillard is the Blazers’ new franchise player

Bryce Harper flaunts patriotic bat, hits home run

Report: Magic will sign Tobias Harris to 4-year deal

The top American sports moments since the last Fourth of July

Nine former college football rivalries that need to come back

The most patriotic uniforms in American sports

Jeanie Buss: Brother Jim will step down if Lakers don't make deep run within two seasons

DeAndre Jordan to Dallas: The Los Angeles Clippers are literally mad men

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.