Despite the financial obstacles, Popovich believes San Antonio has room to grow with guard Antonio Daniels, 26, and Tim Duncan, who, as mature as he seems, is only 25. Duncan was hard on himself after scoring 15 points in the playoff-ending loss, and Popovich expects him to become a greater offensive force. "As funny as it sounds, he's been a little too committed to playing a team game," Popovich says. "I expect him to be more ferocious, look for his own shot more and take over the game."
With that in mind, Popovich plans to play Duncan occasionally at small forward, while setting him up alongside Robinson in what could be the league's most dominant zone defense. To those who are counting out his team, Popovich says, "Let them think about that for a while."