This video captures many of the things I adore about the San Antonio Spurs. [EDIT: The original video was taken down. I’ve switched it out with a mirror.]
What you wouldn’t learn from watching this wonderful video, though, is that for the first half of their era of dominance, the Spurs were thought of as offensively mediocre, but a defensive powerhouse. The reversal of perception over the last decade, despite having the same player core, is stunning. And it’s a credit to Gregg Popovich, who, as Nate Silver notes, has been “uniquely able to stave off regression to the mean.” Ian Levy picked up on that and observed that as his teams’ defensive effictiveness waned, it was nearly perfectly compensated for by increasing offensive prowess. (The trend lines in season ORTG+ and DRTG+ by season are perfectly parallel.) So it’s not just, as the video suggests, that the Spurs play perfectly executed team basketball. That’s what they do now, yes. But in the broader sense, what the Spurs under Gregg Popovich do, year after year, is play perfectly to their strengths while minimizing their weaknesses.