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alh1020 10-26-12 10:19 AM

A scout’s take on your San Antonio Spurs
 
by Dan McCarney

The NBA season tips off in less than a week, which means you will be inundated with all manner of preview material in the coming days. Unless you’re a true hoops junkie, in which case you’ve been knee deep for weeks.

(Is it impressive or pathetic that I know Denver’s Ty Lawson led the league in drives into the paint from outside 20 feet last season? I’m leaning strongly toward the latter…)

At any rate, rather than rely solely on the semi-dependable eye and snarky wit of the national media corps, Sports Illustrated is offering an overview of every team in the league from the men who scout them for a living.

Here’s a sampling of the Spurs entry:

* I think Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili are the best trio in the NBA. Parker and Ginobili are probably the two best playmakers on the same team. With Parker and Ginobili breaking down defenses, capable shooters spaced out for catch-and-shoot opportunities and Duncan remaining a very adequate post player, they are really hard to defend.

* Two years ago, I thought there was no way that Duncan [who is 36 years old] would be playing right now. But he does a great job of keeping himself in shape and coach Gregg Popovich handles him so well. Popovich was smart: He took Duncan out of the post more in the regular season last year and put him in more pick-and-rolls, which saved his legs. Then, at the end of the game, Duncan would go into the post, and he’d have the energy for it.

* I don’t think they have the legs to compete in the playoffs against the top teams. In one game, they can beat anyone. In a best-of-seven, the top teams in the West are going to beat them.

With Duncan, even if they limit him in the regular season to keep him as fresh as possible, you can’t have him on the floor for 38 minutes a game in a seven-game series. The same goes for Ginobili. They just can’t recover like they used to, and some of their opponents, like the Thunder, will have young stars who can play big minutes over and over during the course of a seven-game series.

Lots of other great tidbits to be devoured, including how Popovich is the ideal handler for Stephen Jackson and Kawhi Leonard’s fit with the team.

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Spurs Nation

Uwe Blab 10-26-12 12:24 PM

Pretty much what I've been saying all along. They can go out and get a defensive minded big man (which would be nice either way), or rest their laurels on the fact that they have a couple of perimeter defenders that will be better this year. But defense isn't what did the Spurs in. It's that they ran into a team whose best horses are better than and outlasted the Spurs best horses. No defense is going to go "90's Knicks" on the Thunder or the Heat. They are too good. You have to be able to keep up. And the Spurs tried with all their heart, but they don't have that extra gear anymore, unless KY Leonard takes a monumental leap this year.

Money4Nothing 10-26-12 05:28 PM

I agree with Uwe. Without adding a dominant frontcourt player to supplement the decline of Duncan the Spurs will be a tough playoff out, but an out nonetheless. They will probably win enough regular season games to get a top 4 seed and thus probably make 2nd round at least. But lasting four rounds to claim a title looms improbable. Should still be fun to enjoy another record-setting 50 win season.

$

Jose_TheGenius 10-26-12 05:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Uwe Blab (Post 1286139)
Pretty much what I've been saying all along. They can go out and get a defensive minded big man (which would be nice either way), or rest their laurels on the fact that they have a couple of perimeter defenders that will be better this year. But defense isn't what did the Spurs in. It's that they ran into a team whose best horses are better than and outlasted the Spurs best horses. No defense is going to go "90's Knicks" on the Thunder or the Heat. They are too good. You have to be able to keep up. And the Spurs tried with all their heart, but they don't have that extra gear anymore, unless KY Leonard takes a monumental leap this year.

i agree somewhat. if Pop wants to be better defensively vs. the opposing team's starters. he just may start Splitter next to Duncan and have our bench be an offensive minded lineup while the starters are more D minded (then you mix and match in the later quarters).

i do agree that defense isn't what did us in, it was more of losing gas and the Thunder having a 2nd wind.

xmas97 10-26-12 05:32 PM

And another draft pick in the 30s.

grizzly_bexar 10-26-12 11:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Uwe Blab (Post 1286139)
Pretty much what I've been saying all along. They can go out and get a defensive minded big man (which would be nice either way), or rest their laurels on the fact that they have a couple of perimeter defenders that will be better this year. But defense isn't what did the Spurs in. It's that they ran into a team whose best horses are better than and outlasted the Spurs best horses. No defense is going to go "90's Knicks" on the Thunder or the Heat. They are too good. You have to be able to keep up. And the Spurs tried with all their heart, but they don't have that extra gear anymore, unless KY Leonard takes a monumental leap this year.

This is true to a degree, but I think we could stand to have more defensive balance.

Maybe if we have a defensive minded big man we're not equal to the Heat (or maybe OKC), but we close the gap.

To my way of thinking, our offense is as good as it can get, but we lack on defense.

You are correct to note that our offense can't keep up with OKC or Miami when they are rolling (though I'd say we'd have a better shot vs. Miami than OKC did because our defensive strengths/weaknesses fit them better), but one of the things a good defense does is take some pressure off your offense.

Notice that OKC's offense played better when they slowed us down and could play more loose on offense.

That is what I think we are lacking.

Uwe Blab 10-27-12 11:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by grizzly_bexar (Post 1286172)
This is true to a degree, but I think we could stand to have more defensive balance.

Maybe if we have a defensive minded big man we're not equal to the Heat (or maybe OKC), but we close the gap.

To my way of thinking, our offense is as good as it can get, but we lack on defense.

You are correct to note that our offense can't keep up with OKC or Miami when they are rolling (though I'd say we'd have a better shot vs. Miami than OKC did because our defensive strengths/weaknesses fit them better), but one of the things a good defense does is take some pressure off your offense.

Notice that OKC's offense played better when they slowed us down and could play more loose on offense.

That is what I think we are lacking.

Each game in the series came down to the last few minutes, and OKC's stars won games for them. And it's not like they were just parading to the paint. They were hitting well guarded mid to long range shots. My point is this team, even with a Miami-like defense, would still not able to finish at the end of games.

td4mvp2k 10-29-12 03:55 AM

With OKC losing Harden the West just got more open.


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