So where am I going with all this? Well, I recently picked up the Spurs championship DVD collection, with all their Finals wins ever. That's 16 games of Spurs victories in the finals, starting with the lockout year 1999 record setting 15 playoff win streak, closing the season with a Finals rout over the injury-plagued New York Knicks. Maybe it's just me, but I see Richard Jefferson as a throwback not to Bruce Bowen, obviously, but rather, a key part of the 1999 victory; Sean Elliot. Maybe that's what Popovich sees in him as well, an underrated defender who has the offensive skillset to be able to dominate, but is never really called to. While I'm not going to go out calling the 2010 San Antonio Spurs a throwback of the 1999 championship Spurs, with the idea of Sean Elliot in mind, I can better appreciate the direction that Popovich might take with this team.
Bob Costas and Doug Collins, the commentators on the 1999 Finals did add this, that perimeter players like Mario Elie and Sean Elliot could play more aggresive defense on the perimeter players because they knew that David Robinson and Tim Duncan were behind them, and would alter or flat out swat any shots in the lane. Duncan is now 10 years older and the shot-blocking presence of David Robinson is long gone, replaced with the serviceable defense of Antonio McDyess. McDyess isn't going to block any shots, but I can definitely see Jefferson chasing around wing players like Elliot did way back when. Elliot also wasn't known as a premier defender, but he did do a serviceable job against the likes of Latrell Sprewell. If you look at the numbers, I like the comparison, and I can't help but like the Spurs more.
Think about it.