San Antonio Spurs Want One More Shot
The Spurs had a largely successful season. They won 58 games, won yet another Southwest Division title and pushed the Miami Heat to seven games in the 2013 NBA Finals. All of this after many people wrote off the Spurs as “too old” and “slow”, given that legendary PF Tim Duncan is 37 years of age and slowing down overall. However, Gregg Popovich proved once again why he is the best coach in the NBA (and it’s not close), while maximizing the talent available to him and general manager RC Buford on this roster.
There are indeed concerns about the Spurs’ roster going forward, however. Duncan has indicated that he intends to play for a while longer. Tony Parker is still in the prime of his career at age 30. He may appear to be an “old” 30, considering the 2012-2013 season, which was Parker’s 11th in the NBA, but Parker is firmly entrenched as the face of the team going forward. Duncan has embraced his role as the secondary scoring option through which the offense flows going forward, after being the preeminent option for the first 15 years of his career.
The real concern is with G/F Manu Ginobili. He has shown extensive signs of slowing down, injuries taking their toll. There were rumblings about Ginobili’s age catching up with him during the playoffs. There were even rumors of potential point shaving (which would not be unheard of in professional sports, despite the unwillingness from many to acknowledge) in the Finals. Whether either is true, it is truly time for the Spurs to look to get younger at the shooting guard/small forward position. Kawhi Leonard is a nice start, but he cannot be the only option at that swingman slot. Danny Green proved in the NBA Finals that he can knock down open shots, but he also proved that he offers very little else offensively when he is not open. This is where the Spurs run circles around the majority (if not all) of the NBA: drafting players.
The Spurs are in their customary late 20s slot in the 2013 NBA Draft. They seem to go international in every draft, sometimes in both rounds. There will be talent that only the Spurs can mold into the Spurs “system.” Ginobili was the third from last selection of the 2002 NBA Draft. Several players over the years were “stashed” like C Tiago Splitter and others before him. The Spurs have a system and it works. They do not go for big name players out of college with ego issues. Popovich’s system works, and it is his system or the highway. It is impossible to be surprised with any selection that the Spurs make on Draft night. You just know that they will be there come playoff season. As they have ever since Popovich sat down on the Spurs bench.
” It Is Only A Game, Until You Bet It “