Definitely a heartbreaking post-season, like many Spurs fans, I expected nothing less than a championship. I thought that matching up with the Heat was in our favor since their interior was so weak and we would be able to exploit it. What I didn't anticipate was that our perimeter play would be so weak, mainly because Manu didn't take any pressure off Tony as a second penetrator and creator, and the Heat would exploit this. This loss will sting for a bit seeing how we came so close, but if this team has the will to bounce back next season, they may need to do a few things this offseason. Here are a few things I have learned this postseason:
- Manu is done.
I never wanted to imagine the day that this would come, but I really believe that it has arrived. Manu is done. I've never seen him so unsure and ineffective for this many stretches of games. Him using phrases like "I'm insecure on the court" and "I have no clue how I can come back after that loss" are indicators that he's not coming back. Good thing he's at the end of his career rather than earlier or else we might have a Nick Anderson effect. If Manu can accept the role of a regular bench player, he can still contribute in some manner.
- A Tony Parker led team cannot win it all . . . without adding more talent around him.
If Tony Parker is your best player, you are in trouble. Unless you add pieces that will take pressure off him since Manu is done. Adding players that can penetrate, create their own shot, or can be a post presence will make a world of difference on Tony Parker's game and for the Spurs system.
- Not having an impact big man to help Tim is hurting the team.
I feel that the Spurs FO has done an injustice to Timmy and have not done their due diligence to provide Timmy with that complimentary and competent piece inside. If the Spurs had an athletic big man that could rebound and block shots, the Spurs would have beat the Heat handily. Unfortunately we have gator arms/smallest hands in the NBA Tiago. He was on the rise during the regular season, but when the pressure mounted and the speed of the NBA game in the POs came, he just showed us how slow he really is.
- Kawhi is a beast and everyone outside the "medium 3" is tradable.
I love Kawhi. Fearless, professional, and mature beyond his years, this kid has a really high ceiling. I can't really say this about anyone else on the roster (maybe Diaw). Danny Green is your typical role player, Gary Neal is Gary Neal, and the rest of our bench are scrubs essentially. Pop deserves a lot of credit because if you really look at our team, we aren't as deep as people think. I hope we can package something with the expiring contracts of Neal and Splitter.
So there are two glaring weakness on this team. Penetrators/creators and a solid big man. Assuming that Timmy comes back, if we solve this puzzle, we are right back in it. It would help if players played with an edge and some chippiness too. The Spurs are just too nice. Some guys that come off the top of the head: Aaron Brooks, Martin Gortat, Chris Kaman, and Luis Scola.