She really loved the last two minutes, when Phoenix couldn't pull its goalie because the Kings were pressuring them so relentlessly. As it happened, the long-suffering Kings fans were standing, hollering, waving white towels and practically shattering the glass with their approval. It was all kinds of awesome. Every time I get worried about burning out on sports after four solid decades of giving a crap about total strangers, I find myself caught up in a moment like the last two minutes of that Kings game — when you're embedded in the heart of 20,000 people basically losing their shit — and you think to yourself, Oh, yeah, that's why I do this for a living. What a game.
Beyond the creative brilliance of Parker and Ginobili, Popovich's superior coaching and Duncan's undeniable rejuvenation on both ends — just three months ago, he played the Clippers on one leg, passed up the chance to post up Caron Butler in big spots and made me mutter the words, "Man, I hate seeing Duncan like this," then something shifted for him, and now, he's playing his best basketball in five years — it's the chemistry of the 2012 Spurs that leaves you breathless. I know, that's a weird thing to write. How can chemistry leave you breathless? But in person, the little things stand out — you know, teammates feeding off each other, bench guys reacting to big plays, players always making the extra pass, guys constantly talking to each other, even simple moments like Duncan gleefully congratulating Danny Green after Green stopped Chris Paul at the end of Game 4. Duncan wasn't happy that Green came through for the Spurs; he was happy for Green as a friend. Big difference.
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