It has taken six long years, but the San Antonio Spurs are Western Conference Champions once again.
What a statement they made too.
Their 93-86 victory in Memphis over the Grizzlies ensured a 4-0 series sweep, the first in a conference finals since 1993, when the Nets swept the Pistons to claim the Eastern Conference championship. The Spurs have swept two out of their three opponents in the Playoffs thus far, demonstrating the sort of class and team-unity that has become the benchmark of the Popovich era in San Antonio.
There's just no substitute for experience.
Despite their regular season record of 58-24, many believed the Playoffs would be too much strain on this ageing group, who have been wrapped in cotton wool for most of the season, guaranteeing their freshness for the postseason. It seemed to be a bridge too far last season, blowing a 2-0 lead against Oklahoma City and falling at the final hurdle. With another year on the clocks of their star players, it would take a great deal of effort and man-management to get there again.