Record: 61 – 21 (2nd in the West)
Season Ended: Swept by the Warriors in the Western Conference Finals
Derrick White (SG)
Rudy Gay (SF/PF), Joffrey Lauvergne (PF/C), Brandon Paul (Rookie)
Dewayne Dedmon, Jonathon Simmons and David Lee
Projected Starters (Last year averages)
PG: Dejounte Murray (3 pts, 1 reb, 1 ast)
SG: Danny Green (7 pts, 3 reb, 2 ast)
SF: Kawhi Leonard (26 pts, 6 reb, 4 ast)
PF: Lamarcus Aldridge (17 pts, 7 reb, 2 ast)
C: Pau Gasol (12 pts, 8 reb, 2 ast)
Rudy Gay (SF/PF), Tony Parker (PG), Davis Bertans (PF), Patty Mills (PG), Manu Ginobili (SG)
Major Story lines
Tony Parker and Kawhi Injuries – Tony Parker suffered a devastating injury last season and is projected to be out another 3 – 4 months. This means that the combination of Dejounte Murray and Patty Mills will be holding down the PG spot for the majority of the year. Meanwhile, Kawhi has yet to practice with the team and did not appear in the preseason as he’s dealing with a quad injury. The expectation would be that he’s going to miss some time to start the year as well. Every game will count in the West this year so Pop will need to work his magic early and often to keep this team afloat.
LaMarcus Aldridge Trade Request? – During the offseason it came out that Lamarcus Aldridge was not happy in San Antonio and more specifically was not happy with the style of play. The expectation was that he’d be traded but that has not yet happened and those comments seem to have been swept under the rug. With that said a trade possibility that I floated was an Aldridge for Marc Gasol one. The Grizzlies could play with more pace and the Spurs could continue to grind (not to mention putting the Gasol brothers back together) if that were to go down. We’ll see if the Aldridge problems come back up here soon.
Mike Predictions (52 – 30) (5th in the West)
- Spurs eliminated in the 1st round – I do think Pop is able to keep the team afloat and that they make the playoffs pretty comfortably. However they will end up matched up against one of the younger, hungrier, healthier teams in the West and will come up short. Tony Parker should be back in the fold by then but short of Kawhi going crazy and Aldridge finding his stride I don’t see them contending this year.
Josh Predictions (56-26) (3rd in the West)
- Dejounte Murray has a breakout season – Murray looked pretty good during the postseason last year and has continued showing his skills during this preseason. With Tony Parker missed significant time, Murray is in the perfect position to step up and make the starting PG spot his. Gregg Popovich has a history of getting the most out of players (i.e. Danny Green, Boris Diaw). I think with Murray in line to triple his minutes this year, his fortune of playing with the best coaching staff in the league, and having guys like Manu or Kawhi who will often handle the responsibility of bringing the ball up the court at times to take some of the pressure off, the second year player has a nice set up to produce a breakout year and be the Spurs go-to PG for the next decade or more.