2010 San Antonio Spurs Preview
After a long playoff run of success and several championships last year the Spurs looked human. They were bounced out of the first round playoffs by a Maverick that seemed faster and younger. The Spurs began to show their age as they played injured or without star players down the stretch and in the playoffs. Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan were the biggest losses and without help from the bench the Spurs did not have a shot. This year there will have to be some changes to help this team and they did not wait long to make some.
Gregg Popovich begins his 14th season as coach and he is widely considered one of the best when it comes to being a head coach in the NBA. The difference this year is that the Spurs seemed to have more holes than normal to fill and if they wanted to compete out west they would have to have a productive off-season.
The Spurs did not take long to make a splash in the off-season. They went out and acquired Richard Jefferson from Milwaukee. This gives them another scoring option and some depth with bigger bodies. Then they grabbed Antonio McDyess and Theo Ratliff and this will allow Tim Duncan to rest more and stay healthy down the stretch. In exchange they lost Bruce Bowen, Drew Gooden, and Kurt Thomas. The only one that will really be missed is Bruce Bowen and that is mainly for his leadership and his defensive prowess. If I know the Spurs he may be back before too long. In the draft the Spurs grabbed Nando De Colo and Jack McClinton in the second round but the real steal is DeJuan Blair. The big man from Pittsburgh slipped down to the mid 30’s and the Spurs were there to scoop him up. He very well could be the steal of the draft and make an impact right away.
The Spurs are ready to compete again and made some of the best moves in the off-season with free agents and with the NBA draft. The main question is the health of Tony Parker and the other current stars. If they stay healthy the sky is the limit for this team. If not they will need the newcomers to shoulder the load. The Spurs make the playoffs again but they will need to be healthy to advance.