The San Antonio Spurs are looking to continue their momentum after winning their fifth title in franchise history. The Spurs will have some challenges early on the season, as their backup point guard Patty Mills will miss a heavy portion of the season, with a shoulder injury. What is there to look for in the preseason for the Spurs, as it begins on October 8th.
1. Is Manu Ginobili Healthy?
Everyone assumed that Manu Ginobili was playing on the Argentina squad in FIBA World Cup and that didn’t happen due to astress right fracture in his lower right leg. Ginobili is getting older, as he is now 37 years old, but he remains a vital part of the Spurs success as he has been for his entire career. Ginobili averaged 12.3 points and 4.3 assists last season, expect a similar season, if he is healthy.
2. Did Cory Joseph Improve?
Cory Joseph knows what it’s like to be Tony Parker‘s backup as he did that in the 2012-13 season. It is clear that Mills was a much better player than Joseph last season. In order for the Spurs to remain a top seed, Joseph must step his game up. It all begins with his shooting, as he is a career 28% three point shooter, compared to Mills who shot 43% from deep last year. If Joseph improves as a shooter he will help the Spurs bench significantly.
3. Will Bryce Cotton Have A Role?
Bryce Cotton ended his magnificent college career with a 36 point and 8 assist performance in a tough two point loss to North Carolina in the NCAA Tournament. Cotton is an excellent scorer, with the ability to make plays as he showed at Providence. Cotton averaged 21.8 points and 5.9 assists as a senior. The questions of Cotton’s game certainly don’t come on offense, they will come on defense as it is possible that he will struggle with bigger guards, as he measures at 6-foot. I wouldn’t be surprised if Cotton challenges Joseph as the backup guard.
4. Kyle Anderson
It is likely that Kyle Anderson won’t have a role this year. The 30th selection has the ability that you can only wish you get from the last pick in the first round. The 6-foot-9-inch point forward, can pass the ball like a guard and rebound like some bigs. The problem with Anderson is his athleticism, if he gets a step faster he will be special. It will be interesting to see what position Anderson plays in the preseason.