After making the NBA playoffs in 22 consecutive years, the San Antonio Spurs kept sputtering and missed the last three postseasons. There was a time when the Spurs were an automatic 50-win team but that is no longer the case, especially in the last few years. They need much more consistent production from their starters and better contribution from the bench to regain their status as perennial contenders.
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The squad’s rotation let them down last year, with the standout exception of Dejounte Murray, who gave them everything they’d hoped for during his All-Star year. Now, he’s gone. The Atlanta Hawks made one of the biggest moves in the offseason by signing Murray away from San Antonio. This will surely leave a big dent in the team’s lineup. Who will be able to step up and replace Murray’s skills?
The Spurs picked well during the latest NBA Draft and brought in a solid veteran during the offseason. By picking the quick and NBA-ready Jeremy Sochan, the team may have softened the blow of losing Lonnie Walker to the Los Angeles Lakers. Adding Gorgui Dieng, who played well in the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers, looked like a smart move since he’s going to be a key piece of their rotation.
The Starting Five
PG – Tre Jones
SG – Devin Vassell
SF – Doug McDermott
PF – Keldon Johnson
C – Jakob Poeltl
Jones has to be the most exciting starter to follow in next year’s lineup. He played like an ace and the Spurs are hoping he could become the next Tony Parker. Hoop fans know that he’s about to step up, take control, and lead this team next season. The playmaker, who is entering his third year, demonstrated why he’s quickly becoming a franchise cornerstone.
Other important players who can help are Vassell and Poeltl. Both are projected to increase their production in certain statistical categories. They will now be counted on to provide help on both sides of the court and, based on how formidable they were last season, the duo could be matchup nightmares for their opponents. The Spurs certainly know what these two can do.
One Potential Move to Make
The Spurs have the luxury of adding any type of player they want to acquire. Who doesn’t want to play for a legendary coach like Gregg Popovich? His ability to get players to buy into their team-first approach will make any free agent fit in right away. The coaching staff is all about versatility and matchups, and they have so much flexibility in where they can play each guy on the roster.
If the team starts slow, then they will be in danger of missing the playoffs for the fourth straight year. The fans know too well that their squad has enough talent to make the games competitive, but they may be a little bit shaky in the rotation, and they have to deal with all the improving teams in the wild Western Conference.
Season Prediction: 37-45, might make the play-in tournament
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