Originally written on Project Spurs  |  Last updated 11/10/14
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.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Michael Vick: Jameis Winston is the future of the NFL

Report: No NFL team is moving to Los Angeles in 2015

Report: 49ers looking for young, offensive mind as next coach

Sheldon Richardson: I'm on the same level as JJ Watt

Kendrick Perkins: Rajon Rondo wanted out of Boston

Report: Jim Harbaugh being encouraged to take Michigan job

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Three quarterbacks who could be traded this offseason

Wolves trade Corey Brewer to the Rockets

Yankees trade Prado to Marlins for Eovaldi in 5-player deal

Brandon Browner fined $8K for throwing Brandon Gibson to turf

Report: Sharper, NFLers called spiked drinks 'horny juice'

Rex Ryan: My wife could coach Tom Brady

Grizzlies players buy new car for team intern

Peyton Siva jokes that Rick Pitino is in the mob

WATCH: Montrezl Harrell ejected for throwing punch

UNC wearing Jordan-era throwback uniforms

Brian Kelly: Justin Brent gets 'distracted,' is in my doghouse

Five free agent signings that should happen in 2015

Reporter asks Rajon Rondo awkward question about trade

Video: Swaggy P elbows Steven Adams in throat, gets ejected

Video: Grizzlies buy car for assistant who had his stolen

Video: LeBron takes pass to the face from Dion Waiters

New video of Ray Rice incident emerges

President Obama calls James Franco “James Flacco”

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.

Vick: Winston is the future of the NFL

No NFL team in LA next season?

UNC rocking Jordan-era throwbacks

Reporter asks Rondo awkward question

Three quarterbacks who could be traded this offseason

Jon Lester and the Cubs

Report: NFL players used 'horny juice'

Top 10 worst NBA related commercials of all-time

Phelps gets probation for DUI

NFL coaches on hot seat in Week 16

The Roy Williams-Terrell Owens horse collar turns 10

Most underpaid NFL players in 2014

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.