Through 21 games this year, the San Antonio Spurs have been a bag of mixed emotions. A bunch of wild-cards, and a start to the season that every Spurs fan, and basketball fans, are having trouble believing.
Throughout the past 20 years, San Antonio has had some phenomenal starts, regardless of talent or injury woes, but now, we are seeing this team finally come back down to earth. While many also have to realize with this new group, will come growing pains, there is a lot that this team has to work on to be a force for the foreseeable future.
Enjoy this year, because the Spurs will show a different type of basketball than what we’ve seen in years. Enjoy this year, you’ll see the growing pains and the young guys really work, potentially the “stomping grounds” to what could start a great career in the Silver & Black. Enjoy this year, it’ll help leap the FO into making key decisions that maybe would’ve been glossed over had the Spurs start out 16-5 or something we are accustomed to. While 2018-2019 won’t be a year for the Spurs to seriously contend, the 2019-2020 can potentially be one to remember.
Now, I’m not saying to completely call the year off, or that the Spurs are trash. They are far from that actually, and really post a lot of impressive things as a unit that we don’t see often, or we don’t see as efficient. From 3 point shooting to the ball movement, it’s a beautiful sight to see. In reality, though, this team has some holes that I think a full year of gameplay will really benefit them for the future.
Rudy Gay + DeMar DeRozan + LMA is the veteran trio that needs to stay intact to succeed.
Yes, all three aren’t the best for the “analytics” folks, but in reality, they work for this team. From Rudy’s exceptional length and effort defensively, solid offensive play and really the “skill” of knowing his role and perfecting it, is something for the future this squad will need. LaMarcus is a phenomenal player. He will be the backbone-bone of this team. He won’t have the leadership and capabilities of a Tim Duncan, but he can fill somewhat of the same that Tim did in his later years. While struggling this season, I believe that’ll come with once again playing with another All-NBA player in DD.
LaMarcus will grow alongside DD, as this duo can really be a force offensively, and through time with chemistry, the P&R can be the unstoppable force for the both of them. DeMar DeRozan is the Spurs. Throughout 20 games, while not shooting the 3 the best, he has been everything SA could ask for and then some. He is a terrific talent. The skills he possesses work in the modern-nba so well, it’s a beauty to watch.
He is the biggest part of this trio, because with him, he truly offers the one skill the others don’t, and that’s making players around him better. Yes, he makes every player on that floor much better. He finds open players, draws double teams, great court vision and iQ, rarely takes bad shots, a truly efficient player and one the Spurs desperately needed back when giving up Kawhi this summer. DeMar has been a player you could only dream to ask for in this system, and for the next 2.5 years, we will be watching greatness before our very eyes.
Week in Review
Once again, we see the Spurs struggle down the stretch. Almost losing the game against Chicago would’ve really put the Spurs world in flames. Against Milwaukee and Memphis, both contests the Spurs should’ve brought the W home. While the Spurs lack that dynamic star to go along with DD, (fingers crossed it’s Lonnie Walker) they really have been hurting defensively all year. From poor paint defense to lack of rebounding, and sometimes shaky decision making from our PG’s, the Spurs haven’t been this bad on defense in a long time.
With that being said, I do believe if there’s 1 coach who can fix the issue, Pop definitely can get it done. Quite frankly, through 21 games the same thing has been the issue, there hasn’t been any new bugs in the system, just the same things. While it’s not great to see the same issue over and over again, you’re glad it’s this and not something else and something new every other week. Offensively, the Spurs continue to get open shots at a high rate.
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They make a living from efficient 3 point shooting and wide open mid-range J’s. It’s beautiful to watch as the Spurs find a rhythm. Ball movement has been good, I’m still worried about the lack of players being able to create their own shot, but seeing Derrick White hit a trey the other night, seeing Forbes continue to shine in a contract year, really with consistency, and my man Davis hit 43% from 3, maybe this team can work with a bunch of spot-up shooters. We will see, as this is November basketball we are talking about.
LONNIE WALKER SZN!!!!!!
Yes guys!!!! The GOAT is finally coming back. Well, not the GOAT but my guy Lonnie Walker is finally coming back. While playing for the Austin Spurs to get acclimated to the speed of the game and really into the Spurs system, his debut is one all of Spurs nation should be jacked about. This will be so dope to watch his development through the G-League, so dope, in fact, you’ll catch me at a game very, very soon. Lonnie Walker really can bring some spice to this Spurs team, it all depends on time and really just how he and his body react to the in-game play. Don’t expect Lonnie to wear Silver and Black too often this year, but remember, early reports back during the draft did say that the Spurs expected to play Lonnie a TON coming into the year. So time will tell, and I say, rumble, young man rumble.
The only way I look at a Markelle Fultz trade is if the Spurs get him for the price of a second round pick. Point being, because the Spurs have one of the best shooting coaches, if not THE best in the entire NBA. While that can be viewed as opinion based, do the research yourself and look into what coaches & players think. He is mentally checked out as it seems, and as someone who’s dealt with depression before, it’s rough. My journey out is a discussion I’ll have with someone face to face but once you’re out, for me at least, life has never been better and you find a new motivation and drive every day.
Fultz needs that, he needs a change of scenery and one that would benefit him in ways deeper than just basketball. What would be perfect for him is a small-market team, that stays out of the public eye, the only time they are in, is for things BASKETBALL-RELATED. *Cough-Cough* San Antonio. For a 2nd round pick, I see absolutely no risk, but other than that, I wouldn’t do it just on the fact that I don’t really know what state this Spurs team is in. They aren’t re-building but they aren’t title contenders (nobody is as long as GS is healthy).
Predictions 11/30-12/5: (14-7)
Rockets: W. 121-114. As the Spurs tend to play Houston well, I feel as if this game will be close until the final minutes. With the Spurs losing the last 2 of 3, Pop tends to find a way to consistently beat a D’Antoni lead team regardless of circumstances. Although Houston dumped off Melo, I don’t think they compete with the Spurs on the road, as I feel a this Spurs team top to bottom is just better than Houston. Harden is a nightmare, Capela should have a good night in the paint, but I think DeMar, LMA, and Marco hit big all night long.
Blazers: W. 128-126. Ugh. Tough. Portland can really dominate and get an easy offense going like no other. They don’t struggle from 3, they have excellent iso players in CJ-Dame, with a solid paint presence in Nurk. Somehow though, the Spurs, at home, defeat Portland in their toughest game to date. Portland through the years has beaten San Antonio with ease, I think Bryn, Davis & LMA have their way with a 12 assist night from DeMar, and Rudy getting a dub-dub.
@ Jazz: L. 96-90. Low scoring. The Spurs have not played well on the road, that being said I can see them winning this game. I’m going with a loss due to the inconsistency shown on the road, as well as the fact Utah plays great defense, and really what the Spurs do well, Utah defends very well. Utah struggles offensively, like they really have a tough time, that’s why I feel SA can benefit and take home a W, but something tells me the Spurs defensive woes show up, and ultimately lose this game for them.
@ Lakers. L. 116-109. King’s back. Goat James comes out and does his thing against SA. I think the Lakers take home a victory against a Spurs team who struggled the night before. Off the back to back, the Spurs I feel lose a tough one as they won’t be able to keep up with the pace of play, but I feel Rudy does a good job on BI. I think LeBron has himself a night, with 35-12-11 and hits from everywhere in Cali from San Jose to all the way down in the Bay. All in all, I think a great performance from Bron seals it for them, but, don’t be surprised because Coach Pop has had some success when playing against a LeBron led team.