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    09/07/2011 9:56 PM
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    01/17/2019 7:25 AM

Andre Gomes NBA Preview 2009-2010: San Antonio Spurs

The San Antonio Spurs had a terrific off season, as they boosted their roster with significant talent and going for this season, they are one of the legit contenders to win it all. However, they are coming from a disappointing season last year. Last season, the Spurs were derailed by injuries on their best players. Tony Parker got injured earlier in the season and Manu Ginobili missed the second half of the season, including the postseason. The Spurs were eliminated in the first round by the Mavericks - the first time since 2000 that such thing happened to the franchise and in that series, one thing was pretty clear: the veteran core of players couldn't help anymore the team. Bruce Bowen, Kurt Thomas, Jacque Vaughn or Fabricio Oberto have passed their prime and didn't help the team in the way they used to and the Spurs looked hapless against the Mavericks.

Going for this season GM R.C. Buford did everything that he could to change this scenario and we can say that he did a heck of a job. The Spurs received from the Bucks Richard Jefferson in exchange for Fabricio Oberto, Kurt Thomas and Bruce Bowen, in a great move for the Spurs. Jefferson is an all star player who makes his job in both ends of the floor. He is a player that can put 18/20 points and 5 boars per game, but he will have to adjust in a team that has so many offensive options and his total points per game will likely suffer a drop. However, his work ethic and resiliency works perfects for the Spurs and he will be a vital piece for this organization to take a step forward this season.

R.C. Buford didn't end his work with the Jefferson addition. He also signed veteran player Antonio McDyess to help Tim Duncan in the front and despite the fact that he is 34-years old, he has been remaining injury free over the last years. Last season, when McDyess became a starter for the Pistons after the All-star break, he averaged 12.1 points, 11.0 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game and he can be a solid piece for the Spurs by providing solid numbers next to Tim Duncan.

The biggest surprise last season for the Spurs was undoubtedly Roger Mason Jr. The sharp-shooter specialist helped the team and Tim Duncan early on, when the Spurs didn't have Parker and Ginobili and ended the season averaging 11.8 points and 2.0 3-pointers per game. He also hit several huge game-winners and was a key member for the team - he played all 82-games during the regular season. However for this season, with Ginobili healthy and with Richard Jefferson in the team, Mason won't probably have the same minutes that he had last season, however he will be precious for the team because he will be left opened by the opponents and he will torch them in the perimeter.

Now it's time to start talking about the Spurs' Big 3: Duncan, Parker and Ginobili. Tim Duncan had once again a terrific season last year, but he looked tired in the postseason. The reason was pretty simple: without Parker and Ginobili, Duncan had to carry alone the team offensively and this had consequences later in the season. However, there aren't many players in the league capable of averaging 19.3 points, 10.7 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game, while shooting 50-plus percent and Duncan is having these numbers through his career. Duncan has been the face of this franchise and the natural leader on the floor. Now with 33-years old, the window to win another championship is still open, but his team mates must do their jobs.

Meanwhile, Tony Parker is improving his numbers year after year and now with 27-years old, he is entering the prime of his career. For the first time on his career, Parker reached the 20-points mark by averaging 22.0 points per game. At the same time, he averaged 6.9 assists per game - also a career high. Parker's speed and athleticism has always been impossible to contain, as there aren't many defensive good points guards in this league and at the same time, with so many different offensive options, his number of assists won't decline for this season.

Health was a problem for Manu Ginobili last season. Note that he started the season injured from the Olympics and he has never able to stay completely healthy last season. When he's healthy, Ginobili is one of the most difficult matchups in the league and a difference maker down the stretch for the Spurs. For the first time in years, Ginobili didn't compete during the summer (NBA postseason or National games) and he is primed to return to his form this season. He is arguably the best talent coming from the bench in the league and the biggest candidate to win the 6th man award once again.

The Spurs have young players as well who can develop into good players. Point Guard George Hill showed some potential last season and that was enough for Greg Popovich to give him the status of being the primary backup of Parker. The Spurs have also drafted DeJuan Blair and he has the talent to be one of the steals of his class. Michael Finley, Matt Bonner, Theo Ratliff and Keith Bogans will also give some depth in every department for the Spurs and Popovich has one of the deepest and most talented rosters in the league this season.

Evidently, the Spurs emerged as one of the best teams going for this season and together with the Lakers, they look like the team to beat in the West. With 4 perennial all star players in their team, the Spurs have the talent, the depth and the intangibles to win the championship. Greg Popovich will wisely manage his team during the regular season and they only need everyone to stay healthy to make a serious run for the championship later in the postseason.

My name is André Gomes, I’m from Portugal and I am a Professional Handicapper. My sole purpose is to constantly beat the sportsbooks by taking advantage of the evaluation errors they make. It is most... Read more

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