Fun fact: The Spurs have not missed the playoffs since 1996, that was before drafting one Tim Duncan.
It will certainly be weird not seeing the all-time great suit up for the Spurs now that he’s retired. He is arguably the greatest power forward to every play the game of basketball and a top 20 player ever. With Duncan gone, it is time for Kawhi Leonard to truly make San Antonio his team.
Leonard is easily amongst the top 5 to 7 players in the NBA, depending on who you ask of course. He is the best defensive player in the NBA and there is no debating that (winning Defensive Player of the Year two years in a row). Kawhi’s game, both offensively and defensively, grows year after year and that alone makes him a special player. Do not be surprised if by seasons end, Leonard is hoisting the MVP trophy high above his head. Yes, he is that good!
Replacing Duncan at the four spot was a major concern for the Spurs, and getting Pau Gasol in free agency was the perfect replacement (close to perfect) Gasol in nowhere close to the defensive stopper that Duncan was, but Gasol’s offensive prowess along with his court vision will be on displaythis season for a team that thrives in moving the ball. Pairing Pau along side All Star big man LaMarcus Aldridge in the front court will keep the San Antonio ship in smooth waters.
Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili’s games has regressed in recent years, but that does not mean they are not still good players. Parker’s shot, along with Ginobili’s court vision has been a staple for the Spurs for nearly two decades. Even though both are aging, Coach Gregg Popovich continues to put pieces around them to extend their basketball lives.
Now arguably the biggest move the Spurs made this offseason came in the draft. For the life of me, I cannot figure out how San Antonio landed scoring wing Dejounte Murray with the 29th pick (TWENTY NINTH). Murray was one of the best college players last year out of Washington and his scoring along with length will make a Leonard/Murray combination deadly.
The Spurs are always atop of the NBA come seasons end year after year. Behind serval cornerstone players, great coaching, and high basketball I.Q’s, it is not a matter of if the Spurs will make it to the playoffs, just how far will they will go?