The Spurs had a disappointing finish to their 2015-16 campaign, getting beat by the Thunder in only the second round of the playoffs. It was a disappointing end to a great season, as well as Tim Duncan’s illustrious career. The Spurs were vastly overlooked due to the Warriors record breaking season, but they still managed a 67-15 record, and finished as the best defensive team in the NBA. The Spurs will look to bounce back from last years disappointing finish, and I believe that they will do so in a major way.
5 Reasons the Spurs Will Win the West
5. The Spurs Bench is as Deep as Ever
The Spurs bench features Australian sharp shooter Patty Mills, veteran Manu Ginobili, Kyle Anderson, and David Lee. Kyle Anderson will be ready to play a larger role on the team in his third season, and he has a lot to offer off the bench. Kyle Anderson is a 6’9″ small forward, but he tends to play like a guard. He has range, vision, and a post game; all attributes that will make him hard for any first unit, or second unit, to stop.
I also believe that Greg Popovich will be able to revive David Lee’s career; nonetheless he will be an improvement to David West.
4. Their Big’s are Better
No offense Timmy D, but last year was not your year. We saw it against the Oklahoma City Thunder in the playoffs; Tim Duncan just wasn’t the defender that he once was. The athletic big’s on the Thunder had their way down low, and that was one of the biggest reasons why the Spurs lost. Tim Duncan is replaced by a slightly younger Pau Gasol, but it is an improvement. Pau averaged 16.5 ppg, 11 rpg, and 2 bpg last season with the Bulls; he will give them the rim protection that they didn’t necessarily have last year. Also, coming off the bench is Dewayne Dedmon, who averaged nearly a block a game in only 12 minutes per contest last year. The Spurs improved rim protection will make them a better team than they were last year.
3. Greg Popovich
Greg Popovich is the best coach in the game, and he has been for the last decade. He hasn’t always had the most talented teams, but he has always made the most of what he had. He is also great at adjusting. One thing that is funny, is that the Spurs have never won back-to-back championships, but they have won titles in 3 different decades. This is because Greg Popovich is a master at adjusting his game plan. After a disappointing finish to last season, I know the Spurs will be ready.
2. Defense Wins Championships
The Spurs were the best defensive team in the NBA last year, holding opponents to ten points under the league average. When you hold a team to only 92 points per game, you can outscore them even on your worst nights, which is why defense is so important. Of course, as i stated earlier, their was a loop hole in the Spurs defense last year, and that was their rim protection; but i believe that issue has been solved, and the Spurs defense will be even better than last year.
1. LaMarcus Aldridge, and Kawhi Leonard
Kawhi Leonard is arguably the best two-way player in the NBA and i believe that he will only improve this upcoming season. He had his best offensive showing last year averaging 21 ppg, and shooting a career best 44% from behind the three point line. At the ripe age of 25 Kawhi will be a full blown super star next.
LaMarcus Aldridge has a solid first year on the Spurs in 2015, but it wasn’t quite what everyone expected. He averaged 18 ppg, and 8.5 rpg, which are good numbers for anyone in the league. However, for LaMarcus Aldridge, these numbers were fairly disappointing having averaged over 20 ppg the previous 5 seasons. In his second year with the Spurs, I think LaMarcus will be fully comfortable with the game plan, and look for him to have another 20-10 season.