San Antonio Spurs 2019/20 Season Preview
The San Antonio Spurs may not be the dynastic team from the 2000s anymore. However, as long as the head coach, Gregg Popovich, is at the helm, the Spurs are a threat to anyone in the league. The team showed that last season after losing Kawhi Leonard and veteran point guard, Tony Parker along with a slew of injuries. The team did make the playoffs as the seven seed in the Western Conference before they lost in seven games to an up and coming Denver Nuggets squad. Can the Spurs continue their postseason streak being led to by DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge? Can Derrick White and Dejounte Murray take a step forward in their development? Without further adieu, let’s dive into the preview of this intriguing team.
San Antonio Spurs Season Preview
How the San Antonio Spurs can Remain Competitive
Now, let’s go over the bad news first for Spurs fans. This team has a mixed bag of youth and experience and one could argue not in a good way. Murray, White, and Bryn Forbes are very young and are going to make “young player,” mistakes. On the flip side, DeRozan and Aldridge are not getting younger. Aldridge is 34 years old and will be 35 come next July. For DeRozan, the only knocks on his game are his inconsistency from three-point territory and being a below-average defender. With his mid-range game, he is actually a solid fit with the Spurs.
Unfortunately for San Antonio, he is still no Kawhi Leonard. Whenever you trade someone of Leonard’s talent, you are always going to get the lesser end of the deal. However, if there is anyone who can get this core of players to the playoffs in the top-heavy West, it is the great Gregg Popovich. Placing their faith in Pop as they always have will once again help this team maintain their continued success. It sounds simple, but doing this will be great both collectively and individually for the players.
San Antonio Spurs: Players to Watch
LaMarcus Aldridge: Though aging, he is still one of the better power forwards in the game. Last season, he tallied 21.3 points per game and 9.2 rebounds per game. In the Spurs’ system, he will still have great nights and show his All-Star form. However, do not be surprised if we see the seven-time All-Star take a bit of a step back this season. It happens, after all, Father Time is undefeated for a reason. We will still see an effective Aldridge this year though.
DeMar DeRozan: DeRozan should be the number one offensive option this coming year. He is a savvy scorer and is a four-time All-Star for a reason. Last season, DeRozan averaged 21.2 points per game to go along with a career-high 6.2 assists per game. Pop’s system could see DeRozan increase his passing numbers again this year, which is a scary thought for the rest of the league. A multi-faceted DeRozan will be a nightmare for any defender.
Derrick White: White had his breakout in last year’s opening postseason series against the Denver Nuggets. He did so well, the Nuggets switched their own Murray (Jamal Murray) on to a different defensive assignment. Though Gary Harris did neutralize his hot streak, he still showed he belonged in this league. He only averaged 8.1 points per game last year, but he did tally 5.7 rebounds per game as well. Derrick White should see his scoring numbers increase incrementally this coming season.
Road Trip to Watch
Come February 3, the San Antonio Spurs are going to be in for their toughest test. They start the road trip against the Los Angeles Clippers, followed by the Lakers. After battling the two teams in the city of angels, they then hit the road to take on the Portland Trail Blazers led by Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum on February 6. On February 8, they head back to California and will play the intriguing Sacramento Kings. They then will take on NBA Finals contender, Denver, in a first-round postseason rematch from last year. The Spurs will eventually round out the road trip as they head to Oklahoma City before the All-Star break, then end up heading to Utah to battle Mike Conley and Donovan Mitchell and then ending at Oklahoma City on February 23.
Overall, the Spurs have earned the right to get the benefit of the doubt. While the Western Conference did get better, the Spurs are in good hands as long as they have arguably the greatest coach of all time in Gregg Popovich. Popovich is a mastermind at maximizing any type of talent. Not to mention, both LaMarcus Aldridge and DeMar DeRozan have a ton of playoff experience to help mentor the young talent. With this in mind, I am predicting the San Antonio Spurs will continue their remarkable playoff streak and make the postseason as the eighth seed in the competitive Western Conference. Gone are the days of Tim Duncan, Ginobli, and Parker. However, San Antonio is still a dangerous team with Pop and two All-Stars leading the way.
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