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Old 10-18-12, 06:50 AM
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MichaelWi101 MichaelWi101 is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2003
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SI on the Spurs - Southwest Division Season Preview

Full article is here: San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavericks, more NBA 2012-13 preview - Rob Mahoney -

Team Overall
"The Spurs are one of the few teams that can be content with more of the same, even if their season didn't end as Tim Duncan and Co. might have hoped. Gregg Popovich succeeded magnificently in yet again redefining his team's approach last year, and the Spurs rocketed their way to the best record in the West by virtue of leading the NBA in points scored per possession. San Antonio may not have made any notable acquisitions over the last few months, but it's also preserved every bit of the league's deepest rotation, and thereby protected the roots of its unpredictably dynamic offense."

Players To Watch
Tiago Splitter
San Antonio's highly anticipated Brazilian import has established strong per-minute numbers over his first two seasons (16.0 ppg, 9.8 rpg and 1.2 blocks per 36 minutes). That said, the Spurs -- and basketball fans at large -- are nonetheless still waiting for Splitter to emerge as something more than a merely useful reserve big man. Splitter may never fully live up to his intended purpose as a versatile frontcourt counterpart to Duncan (the lineup data accumulated to date certainly doesn't speak well of their specific chemistry), but his instincts and mobility should soon beget a far more instrumental player.

Burning Questions
Where is Kawhi Leonard's ceiling? Few Spurs (if any) have been afforded the unequivocal praise that Gregg Popovich has heaped on second-year forward Leonard, and understandably so; not only is Leonard a remarkably advanced defender for his age and experience level, but his personality and instincts also make him a perfect on-court extension of Popovich's strategic ideals. Leonard became a defensive difference-maker and offensive cog as a rookie, but what more can we expect from the young Spur going forward?
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