San Antonio Spurs
And finally, xinmsn Sports concludes with the San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Clippers, Memphis Grizzlies, Minnesota Timberwolves and defending champions Miami Heat.
People have been murmuring about a sunset at Spurs, but Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili just kept coming back.
Except for the LA Lakers, there is no other dynasty that has lasted this long.
Is the buzzer finally going to sound?
To their credit, Ginobili, 35, and Duncan, 36, have preserved and reinvented themselves well. Playmaker Parker, who for two seasons saw his points-per-game fall to pre-2006 numbers, had his first post-Eva Longoria year and played like an MVP. During a campaign where all the talk was of Miami, Oklahoma City and Chicago, this Texan franchise, personified by Duncan, quietly went about its business, including setting an unlikely NBA record of 20 successive wins stretching into the playoffs.
But unlike in Boston, where the fading Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce are ably supplemented by a 26 years old Rajon Rondo, here Parker is already 30. Younger players like Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard have to improve sharply for the legacy to continue.