Outside of Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio looks mighty thin.
After Leonard went down on a “Zaza closeout“, San Antonio’s true colors were exposed in the worst way. LaMarcus Aldridge shrunk under the pressure of having to be the Spurs “go-to” scorer and Golden State feasted on the aged team.
With another season approaching, not much has changed for the Spurs (other than old players getting older.) Kawhi Leonard continues his quite rampage up the player rankings. Year after year, he adds another wrinkle to his game that thrusts him into the MVP decision. The two-time defensive player of the year is not arguably the best two-way player in the entire league. His talent alone, along with Gregg Popovich hall of fame worthy coaching, will power San Antonio to 50 wins. But do not be confused, the Spurs are not one of the two three teams in the West.
Let’s go back to Aldridge for a second. San Antonio brought him on to be the Ying to Leonards’ Yang. on paper, the duo could be one of the deadliest in the NBA. Leonards’ greatness along with Aldridge touch around the rim and from midrange would give opponents. And that’s what happened for the most part (in the regular season.) Yes, Aldridge was a focal point in Portland, but he looked like a shell of himself when San Antonio needed him the most, in the playoffs. His defense, which was always questionable, was exposed and it wasn’t that his shoot was off, he just stopped shooting them.
While age never plays a factor for San Antonio until the playoffs, that might change this season. Here is a list of their core’s ages on the current roster (players that played more than 15 mins a game last season): 21, 26, 24, 29, 30, 32, 35, 37, and 40. Not to mention injury prone Rudy Gay, who they just picked up in free agency, who is 31.
We won’t mention that out of this world crazy contract they gave Pau Gasol this offseason, but the Spurs are in a odd place right now.
Because of Leonard and Popovich alone, San Antonio will win close to 50 games or possibly more. But outside of that, their are more question marks than answers for San Antonio. With recent moves OKC and Houston made, do not be surprised if the Spurs fall out of the top three in the league.
Regular Season Prediction: 51-31