2018-19 NBA Season Team Previews: San Antonio Spurs

NBA Team Preview - San Antonio Spurs

The San Antonio Spurs went into a huge overhaul this offseason. Their roster is very different from the roster that the Spurs seemed to have forever. It will be interesting to see if the Spurs can make it back to the playoffs after all the moves they made.

San Antonio finished with a 47-35 record last season, which earned them the seventh seed in the Western Conference. The Spurs met up with the Golden State Warriors and fell in five games. San Antonio will now look to return to contender form.

The Spurs will need some players to step up if they want to keep up with the Western Conference. San Antonio has fallen behind a bit, but for a while they led the race in the Western Conference. The Spurs still have Gregg Popovich, who knows how to get the most out of each and every player. I believe that as long as Popovich is there, the Spurs have a chance to compete.

Guards

San Antonio will have Patty Mills start at Point Guard to begin the season. Mills averaged 10.0 points and 2.8 assists per game last season. He only saw 36 starts last season, but that should go up this season. Mills is one of the players that will need to step up to push this roster back to a competitive level.

Bad News:
Dejounte Murray is out for the season with a torn ACL. I believe he would start over Mills if he were healthy. Last season, Murray earned All-Defensive Second Team honors. He 8.1 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game. Murray was developing really nicely in the roster. His absence will sting.

The Spurs acquired Marco Belinelli in free agency. Belinelli spent last season with the Atlanta Hawks and Philadelphia 76ers. He averaged 12.1 points per game in 80 games last season. Most of last season he came off the bench. I believe he will begin the season as a starter for San Antonio.

Bryn Forbes and Derrick White will likely come off the bench for the Spurs. Forbes averaged 6.9 points, while White averaged 3.2 points per game. Both players will need to fill out bigger roles, especially with Murray out for the season.

San Antonio drafted Lonnie Walker IV in the first round of this year’s draft. Walker will likely miss the beginning of the season after he had knee surgery. When he does return though, I expect him to get plenty of time in the lineup.

Seeing the Spurs Guard core without Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili just seems wrong. I believe the Guards are solid but will definitely see some struggles. I would not expect these Guards to carry the weight night in and out.

Forwards

I believe that DeMar DeRozan will start the season at Small Forward. He was part of the blockbuster trade that sent Kawhi Leonard to the Toronto Raptors. DeRozan averaged 23.0 points and 5.2 assists per game with the Raptors. He has played at Shooting Guard before, but there has been some talk of him trying out at Small Forward. If it does not work out, he should move back to Shooting Guard.

Power Forward:
LaMarcus Aldridge averaged 23.1 points and 8.5 rebounds per game last season. He had a huge role in the Spurs making playoffs last season. I expect him to continue to play a big role in the lineup.

Rudy Gay will likely come off the bench for the Spurs. He averaged 11.5 points and 5.1 rebounds per game last season. Gay is a really solid defender on the Spurs roster. He fits in really well on the lineup in my opinion. His game fits in well with Popovich’s system.

San Antonio picked up Dante Cunningham and Quincy Pondexter in free agency. Cunningham averaged 5.7 points and 4.1 rebounds with the New Orleans Pelicans and Brooklyn Nets last season. Pondexter averaged 2.0 points per game with the Chicago Bulls last season.

The Spurs drafted Chimezie Metu in the second round this season. Metu is coming from USC where he had a solid season. He can play both Power Forward and Center. Metu is 6’10”, which he uses to his advantage wherever he plays. I believe he should get his chance to prove himself to earn some extra time.

The Forwards on this roster really make the Spurs a good team. With the possible duo of DeRozan and Aldridge, the Forwards should be able to dominate. If DeRozan stays at Shooting Guard, Gay can move into the starting lineup. The possible combinations make this a really Forward core.

Centers

Pau Gasol will start at Center this season. Gasol averaged 10.1 points and 8.0 rebounds per game last season. He is another solid two-way player that really strengthens Popovich’s lineup. Gasol is 38 years old, which could lead to some regression this season. Even if he regresses, he should still be a solid player in the lineup.

San Antonio also picked up Jakob Poeltl in the trade that sent Kawhi Leonard to Toronto. Poeltl averaged 6.9 points and 4.8 rebounds last season. He is a young Center prospect that should develop nicely with Popovich as his coach.

I believe that this duo of Centers should work out nicely for the Spurs. Gasol could have some regression, but if Poeltl steps up to take a bigger role, they should fit nicely together.

Aldridge could also play some time at Center if both players are struggling. These Centers should not have difficulties splitting time.

Overview

Last season, Popovich and the Spurs made the playoffs with a worse lineup then they have this season. DeRozan should fit in great with this team and it will really help fill the void that Kawhi Leonard left. The Guards would really benefit from a little more depth, but I would not be surprised if the Spurs try to make a trade to fill Murray’s absence.

BetOnline has the Spurs listed at a win total of 45 ½. They had more than that last season with Aldridge carrying most of the load. While the Spurs lost some key veterans and players, I believe that this roster is just as good if not better this season. The best bet for San Antonio is over the win total.