We could see another Spurs-Warriors match-up come the West Finals
Experience plus discipline will help the Spurs this season and beyond
Sure, the Houston Rockets got Chris Paul and will now share the backcourt alongside James Harden.
The Oklahoma City Thunder received Paul George and will now play alongside reigning MVP, Russell Westbrook.
Rajon Rondo will now become the New Orleans Pelicans’ top playmaker who will lead the team alongside ever improving Anthony Davis.
It seems that the rest of the West have been picking up pieces to hopefully challenge the mighty Golden State Warriors. But we’re probably forgetting one team: the San Antonio Spurs.
Sure, the Warriors swept Kawhi Leonard and company during last season’s Western Conference Finals although many basketball pundits including the one who is writing this article, firmly believed that the outcome of the series would have been different had Tony Parker and Kawhi Leonard were healthy and playing during that series. Like it or not, Coach Gregg Popovich and his wards are still the team who can, at the very least, challenge the Warriors of Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry.
Now, you’re probably scratching your heads and asking yourselves: ‘How can the Spurs beat the Warriors?”
Let’s run some numbers.
While the Spurs were averaging 105.3 points per game during the 2016-2017 season, 16th in the league, the Spurs have always been known as a defensive-minded team and last season’s numbers have proven that. In terms of limiting the opponents’ total points in a game, the Spurs only limited their opponents to 98.1 points on the average, the second best in the league in that category.
Since the Spurs have big men like LaMarcus Aldridge, Pau Gasol, guys like Danny Green, Manu Ginobili who can block shots, San Antonio, as a team, averaged 5.9 rejections- a spot behind league-leading Warriors in that category. And, don’t forget about the mere fact that Kawhi Leonard, the best two-way player in the league right now, has fully recovered from the injury he sustained during the playoffs.
While there’s doubt that the Warriors are loaded with such firepower as we saw during their impressive postseason run, the Spurs, on the other hand, remain as one of the teams in the league that have the discipline and the respect to the game, to challenge the players of Steve Kerr come the upcoming regular season and eventually, in the playoffs, should they will be pitted against each other.
For starters, Rudy Gay has signed a 2-year deal with the Spurs and that’s a good addition to a team which has aging stars in Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili probably playing their last years in the league. Throughout his career, Gay has been averaging 18 points per game to go along with 5.9 rebounds and 2.3 assists. Gay will be providing additional firepower that the Spurs will need especially in crucial moments of the game.
The regular season will not come until October which means the Spurs will still have more time to prepare themselves because aside from their goal to hopefully dethrone the Warriors, they will also have to worry about the rest of the West because the other teams in the West have loaded themselves with additional firepower. However, chemistry will play a big role in the success of every team and when we’re talking chemistry, the chemistry that has been established by the Spurs players themselves has proven to be among the best in the league and whenever there’s a good chemistry among players, it helps them perform better on and off the court.