• Dennis Dow

2018-19 Off The Glass Team Preview Series: San Antonio Spurs


Denver Post

The 2018-2019 NBA season starts October 16th and to get you ready for tip-off, Off the Glass is previewing all 30 teams. Today we look at the San Antonio Spurs.

2017-2018 Record

47-35, 3rd in the Southwest Division, Lost 4-1 to the Golden State Warriors in the 1st round of the Playoffs.

Season Recap

The San Antonio Spurs were in unfamiliar territory last season. They dealt with Kawhi Leonard drama all season and only got 9 games out of their franchise player. Despite that issue, they somehow managed to still win 47 games behind a monster season from LaMarcus Aldridge. Aldridge made 2nd team All-NBA and looked rejuvenated in San Antonio after being in trade talks last summer. The Spurs once again proved to be a team that gets so much out of tough situations.

Key Losses

Kyle Anderson, F; Manu Ginobili, G; Danny Green, G; Kawhi Leonard, F; Tony Parker, G

Key Additions

Marco Belinelli, G; Dante Cunningham, F; DeMar DeRozan, G; Jakob Poeltl, C

Player to Watch

Dejounte Murray, G

Preview

DeMar DeRozan gives the Spurs something they were sorely missing last season, a second option. Aldridge did it all for the Spurs and carried them to a mountain of wins. Adding DeRozan should help the Spurs improve on their 17th offensive rating giving them much needed wing scoring. The Spurs were one of the worst three point shooting teams in the league and they did little to address that issue. Adding Marco Belinelli should help, but they are a team that will play to their strengths and they have some devastating mid-range shooters. The front court rotation for the Spurs is full, but it is the point guard spot that holds the most intrigue.

Patty Mills struggled as a starter and it looks like Dejounte Murray will get the keys to the offense. Murray has shown flashes of being a game changing defender, but struggles to shoot the ball. The Spurs will hope that 2nd year player Derrick White can come in and be an immediate contributor. White has the size to play opposite Murray or Mills and also has a nice three point shot. The Spurs have struggled to find valuable contributors from their draft picks over the last few seasons. Getting something from Murray and White this season would be huge for the Spurs moving forward.

The Spurs are a veteran heavy team that plays to their strengths in a system that has carried them to regular season success. Adding DeRozan to a 47 win team is a recipe for success. The Spurs have enough to not only compete in the improved Western Conference, but to challenge for a top four seed in the playoffs.

Worst Case Scenario

The Spurs’ offense continues to struggle and without plus defenders like Leonard and Green in the rotation, they become average on defense and miss the playoffs for the first time since 1997. While this goes on, Kawhi Leonard lights Canada on fire and wins the MVP award leading the Raptors to the Finals. That would be rough for the Spurs.

Best Case Scenario

DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge play great and their young guys step up. Coach Pop finds the perfect balance of veterans and young guys in the rotation helping them get a top three seed in the Western Conference, where they give Golden State a run for their money in the Western Conference Finals.

2018-2019 Prediction

48-34, 2nd in Southwest Division

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