Sunday, December 12, 2010

Thoughts on the Spurs so far

As a Spurs fan, this season has been a nice surprise with the quick start that San Antonio has jumped out to; after last season's slow going, it's great to see them picking up early wins. It's interesting to hear how some national commentators are discrediting their 19-3 run out of the gate. Though I think it is fair to question the sustainability of this pace and health, it seems that several people, if not many, believe this to be a flash in the pan, not a testament to the potential that exists in this team.

Labels are difficult to overcome and I've always been bothered that the Spurs have often been referred to as boring. They've proven to be methodical and defensive-minded, playing to their strengths, which isn't necessarily boring basketball, rather a different type of skill set and focus. It's also been bothersome to see teams like the Celtics get lauded for their defensive focus, but not garner the boring tag along with it due to a perceived difference in personality and make-up of the team.

This year, though, has brought a change in pace to the Spurs' games and one that has been able to be sustained so far. I read in the preseason that Pop hoped to push the tempo last year, but wasn't able to make that happen due to Parker's injuries. This year, with a healthy Tony, things look much different. Not only is Tony healthy, but Manu Ginobili is as well. Add Richard Jefferson's growing comfortability in the system and George Hill's continued growth as a defender and scorer, and this team looks a lot more threatening than it did going into last year's playoffs. Duncan's minutes are down, with hopes to save his legs and strength for a deep run in the spring. Dejuan Blair is showing the improvement in season that was hinted at in the preseason. Matt Bonner and Gary Neal are making significant and specific contributions from from the bench, which further allows Manu to get his minutes with the starting unit and not have to come off the bench with the second team to provide a spark and points.

As the season progresses, I think Tiago Splitter will grow into a bigger threat and end up making a great difference for the Spurs, especially as they match up with the longer, taller Lakers and Mavs. I think February will be a big month for him, as he will hopefully get some great experience on the road games the Spurs will play.

As long as health remains a close friend of the team, they should be in great shape for the playoffs. I like that they are showing the league the type of team they can be. They should be fun to watch

1 comment:

  1. And, NOW, what do you think of the Spurs, sweet husband? I've loved watching you watch the Spurs this season, and I can't wait to see them in person!