Oct 10, 2012; San Antonio, TX, USA; Atlanta Hawks forward Josh Smith (5) drives against San Antonio Spurs forward Derrick Brown (1) during the first half at the AT
[Editor’s note: Air Alamo staff writers Joe Bendiez, Firman Iksan and Richard Perez joined me in a weekly roundtable to talk about everything San Antonio Spurs related. Enjoy.]
Was waving Derrick Brown and Eddy Curry the right move?
Joe Bendiez: I think it will benefit the Spurs in the long run to stick with the same group. Curry might have been a good piece to the front court, but maybe this is the Spurs’ way of saying Dejuan Blair is still a vital part and he will get increased minutes. Derrick Brown, though, could have provided more depth at the SF position, but I don’t think it was the wrong move to waive both.
Firman Iksan: Yes. While I like Curry’s ability to score down low and give the Spurs’ second unit an added dose of scoring, but his propensity to foul at anything that moves scares me. As for Brown: I think adding a combo forward to the roster is not a good idea. Glad the spurs agree with me.
Richard Perez: Brown, yes, but I felt like Curry could have added a different dynamic to the team that I would have loved to see brought to the team; not only that, but just his size, and experience in the league could have helped, and as we saw with Patty Mills, the effect of being coached by Gregg Popovich can make a huge impact on any player.
Quixem Ramirez: In reality, despite their preseason success, the Spurs couldn’t have made a wrong decision. Neither figured to earn minutes on this team, much less dress every night. The final roster spot is an unforgiving role, where one dishes out more high fives than minutes played. Brown and Curry seemed like above-average options for this role, although we are judging their efficacy by three weeks of time with the organization.
Whose preseason performance has been the most encouraging? Whose performance has been discouraging?
JB: I haven’t seen much preseason ball, but I like how Danny Green has come alive these past few games. San Antonio needs him to be a more consistent shooter, so it is encouraging to see him drain multiple three’s, even if it is preseason. I think the most discouraging from what I have seen is Matt Bonner. Not sure why he is still a Spur. At this point the Red Rocket is more of a Missile Crisis, and San Antonio can survive without him.
FI: The most encouraging? Manu. He appears to be in game shape already and a great season is in line if everything goes according to plan. Matt Bonner hasn’t done anything except play badly.
RP: I, personally, find pre-season in general to be discouraging. No disrespect to those of you who love basketball enough to watch from preseason on, but I’m not one of those people. Preseason really reveals nothing, the good teams know theyre good and wait until they get to the meat of the season to really “turn it up”.
QR: Lost in the shuffle between incumbent Tony Parker, likely backup Gary Neal and passing extraordinaire Nando De Colo, Cory Joseph has slid under the radar despite making notable improvements in his game. Joseph is already an above-average rebounder and defender for his position and his jump shot is already more advanced than De Colo’s.
This counts as a minor, and consequential, disappointment: I’m just a tad discouraged with Kawhi Leonard. He hasn’t shot well for the entire preseason slate. (Leonard converted on 26.5 percent of his preseason attempts.) Yet I also realize that taking away too much is a tenuous preposition; especially when I’m passing judgments on a player who has already established himself as one of the Spurs’ most important players.
It’s time to get bold: What is one prediction that you think may happen this season?
JB: San Antonio will take the top spot in the West again. Yep, I said it. The Spurs will once again be the one-seed in the postseason. It may not be a good thing, but the way the Spurs have been playing lately is designed to win regular season games. Whether they can a win a title is another question. [Editor’s note: These predictions were sent prior to the consummation of the James Harden trade.]
FI: Kawhi being involved more in offense. While we saw Kawhi have a bit of problem buying a bucket in exhibition play, I think it best if we take that with a grain of salt. I mean, come on, that was preseason.
RP: I think the Spurs will have a great season. While other teams spent the offseason stock piling talent, the Spurs opted to improve internally. Here’s another bold prediction: The “Spurs are old” card will be played left and right all year long and we will prove just like last year, we can still get it done.
QR: Gregg Popovich will be extremely cordial to every media reporter in an attempt to please his sensitive wife.