2012-2013 NBA Season Preview – San Antonio Spurs
San Antonio came within 2 wins of the NBA finals last year and is bringing back much the same team for the 2012-2013 season. Everybody remembers their exit from the playoffs but do you remember that 20 game win streak, which included the first 2 games of the Western Conference finals? Then the Thunder turned it on and just like that the Spurs were going home. America’s Bookie has the Spurs at +1000 to win the NBA championship and +500 to win the Western Conference.
The Spurs didn’t make a lot of shocking moves in the offseason. They resigned their own free agents. Tim Duncan will be back on a 3 year $30 million contract. They also signed Danny Green to 3 years and Boris Blow to 2 years.
Although he is often overlooked Tony Parker is one of the best point guards in the league. He led the team in scoring the last 2 years and has a career average of 16.8 points and shoots 49.3 from the field. He has an unproven backup in Aussie Patty Mills so San Antonio will have to hope Parker stays healthy. Danny Green will start at the other guard position with Manu Ginobili as his backup. This position should be solid although the backup is probably better than the starter here.
Although most see this as an aging team they do have some young blood in the lineup and one of the most impressive is Kawhi Leonard at small forward. He was a big key on defense last season, taking on high scoring opponents with no fear. He is that blue collar type player who works hard in practice, gets the job done on the court and all the while being a humble guy about it.
Tim Duncan didn’t play as many minutes last season but he is still a very viable piece of this team. He has good backup in DeJuan Blair and Matt Bonner so the power forward position is set. Look for the Spurs to be smart and give Duncan plenty of rest over the coming season. Boris Diaw will be the starter at center and will have Blair and Thiago Splitter to back him up.
San Antonio can score and were 2nd in the league last year in points scored and assist ratio. They are definitely one of the deepest teams in the NBA and they use this to wear down their opponents. Where most teams are lucky to have a strong starting lineup, the Spurs almost have 2 teams within their team. It is going to take some more craftiness by Popovich to keep this aging team fresh, but expect for the Spurs to once again challenge, and challenge strong, in the West.
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