As for many (most, all?) of us, this season has been a one heck of a roller coaster for me so far. It is hard to make sense out of the team we have. Still, this is something we are all trying to do, so I'll give it a try as well ... For a decade, we have been a Timmeh's team. We were boring, we played defense, we were big bad Spurs, we won more games than anybody else. We always knew that we were going as far as Tim would bring us, and Tim brought us to four NBA Finals, which we won, all four of them. It was a good ride, but it's over. Tim's team was beaten badly in last year playoffs by our archenemies. This year we have something different. We became Manu's team. Of course, Manu was very important for Tim's team. But his play was the icing on the cake.
Now it is the cake. Everything we have done this season was done through Manu, because of Manu, by Manu. The Spurs are as much Manu's team right now as the Lakers are Kobe's team, Miami is Wade's team and OKC is Durant's team. This team will go as far as Manu will take it. Of course, Manu is not Tim. While Tim is Big Fundamental, Manu is the most unorthodox star of the game. And Manu's team, the Spurs, become very unorthodox. Their Man is coming from the bench, and their bench is playing better than the starters. Their best play may be a crazy falling-out-of-bounds pass or a crazy coming-from-nowhere block or steal. Sometimes their best defender is the rim of a basket. Their best 3-point shooting is coming from some of their tallest guys, Bonner and Duncan, they play 6-4 rookie at the center position while sending legit 7-footers away or keeping them glued to the bench, and they just may ask a guy like Bogans to guard somebody like Bynum. All of the above is not anomaly and not Pop going crazy. It just means that we don't have a traditional, boring, half-court oriented Tim's team anymore, we are Manu's team now. This team is an ultimate underdog, and can only play and hopefully win as an underdog. Pop understands it, and that's why we see so much small ball, weird rotations and crazy match ups. This season, we are going to win or lose as Manu's team. And it is going to be fun to watch.