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Just Another Saturday Night in Salt Lake City

By Jeff Koch on December 14, 2013.

San Antonio 100, Utah 84

In the battle of tired legs, the Spurs talent is still too much for the Jazz.

Capping off a stretch in which they flew to Mexico, then to Canada, then back to San Antonio, before settling in Utah (on their way to LA next), the Spurs had every reason to come into this game flat, tired, and out of sync. “Schedule loss” was written in the stars.

Of course the Jazz had played in Denver last night, so neither team was particularly fresh, a fact that was quite evident in the first 6 minutes of the game, when neither team was able to muster more than 6 points.

But the Spurs settled in, executed, and let their 10000 hours and years of System Reps do the rest. The Spurs will always win these types of games because they have the superior talent, and because they know who they are, what they want to do, how to do it, and how to do it with the personnel on the court. This may be ‘boring’ to many, but it leads to 50+ wins a year ad nauseum and deep playoff runs. Nothing boring about that. And if you truly watch the synergy, grace, and instinctual knowledge the team plays with, you probably would find other words than ‘boring’ to use.

Still, Saturday nights in the middle of December on the 4th game in 5 nights is when many teams will take a loss; the Spurs have made a legacy precisely because they can get these ‘boring’ wins.

Oh, and they have Tim Duncan, a truly ageless wonder. 22 pts, 12 rebs, and 3 asts? Just another night at the office for perhaps the most reliable player of all time. My favorite part of watching Duncan ease into basketball old age is how he continually faces younger big men night after night, and continually gets the better of the match-ups. One of the distinctions between stars and superstars–between being good, great, and an all-time great–is longevity, maintaining a certain consistent brilliance over a large swath of time. Duncan will never go down as the greatest player of all time, nor have the longest “Superstar” career…but his combination of true greatness measured over time puts him in truly rarefied air, probably beyond even Spurs’ fans appreciation.

So there will always be something to cheer, even on Saturday nights in Salt Lake City.

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