Last night's loss to the Hornets sealed an opinion, I've had for the past 3 years. Playing big in the modern NBA with no hand-checking and the 3pt shot will not win a NBA championship. That means the Spurs won't win a championship playing big.
Let me define playing big. That means having 2 men on the floor that don't regularly shoot a 3pt shot. For the Spurs that means the Aldridge/Duncan combo.
Look at the last 5 NBA champions. The Warriors, Spurs, Heat-2X, and the Mavs. All 5 teams made sure not to play big in crunch time (aka the last 6 minutes of a game). All 5 had a 4-man (power forward) that was a 3 pt threat. From Iguodala to Diaw to Battier to Nowitzki.
The only championship the Spurs won in the past 8 years came when Pop benched Splitter in favor of Bonner/Diaw. I think Pop needs to do the same for Duncan for the last 5 or 6 minutes of basketball games. Sub in Diaw or West. In the highlight of the game last night, the weave that led to the layup by Aldridge, only happened without Duncan on the floor clogging up the paint, which in turn led to room for Ginobili to drive. Even the highlight reel of the beautiful game, it's hard to find a highlight where both Splitter/Duncan are on the floor.
Beating the Bulls with West, Thunder with West, Clippers with West, Trailblazers with Anderson, and Warriors with Diaw, by benching Duncan in the last 6 minutes of the 4th qtr, makes me believe the Spurs can win a championship. By West basically being a good mid-range shooter, which helps the spacing, but not as much as a 3 pt threat. But, having Duncan on the floor in the last 6 minutes at the end of games against teams playing small ball won't cut it as the Hornets loss indicated (they played Marvin Williams at the 4, someone who's made 131 3's on the year, which is more than any Spur), nor allow the Spurs to win a championship.