On Friday night the San Antonio Spurs travel to US Airways Center, to take on the Phoenix Suns. The Suns are coming off a 20 point victory over the Los Angeles Lakers, while the Spurs on the other hand escaped with a narrow one point victory over a difficult Dallas Mavericks team.
Going into the game there are a few things to monitor for the San Antonio Spurs.
1.) Kawhi Leonard‘s Debut
After missing the season opener with an eye infection, it appears Kawhi Leonard will make his season debut against the Suns. Leonard is looking to have a big season, as he is in his contract year and he is looking to build off his unexpected Finals MVP award. Things might change for the 23 year old defensive stopper, as the San Antonio Spurs might have no choice but to draw plays up for him.
2.) Manu Ginobili‘s Progress
After a disastrous preseason in which Manu Ginobili shot 20% from the field and averaged 3.8 turnovers, he had himself an impressive season opener. Ginobili went for 20 points (6-13 fg) and 6 assists. If the Spurs want to go for another title, it is important that Ginobili plays a high level, another good game will make San Antonio Spurs fans believe that the poor preseason was a fluke.
3.) Defending the Phoenix Suns Backcourt
The Phoenix Suns front court consists of the Morris twins (Marcus and Markieff) and Miles Plumlee. The Suns play the Morris twins together to create a mismatch, but they aren’t the ones that provide the edge for the Phoenix Suns. The Suns backcourt, which consists of Eric Bledsoe, Goran Dragic, Isaiah Thomas, and Gerald Green is as good as it gets. The Suns have four guys that can start on most teams and they all have one thing in common: they can score in a hurry. Besides Bledsoe, they might be lackadaisical defensively, but they seem to always outscore their opponent. Tony Parker, Cory Joseph, and Marco Belinelli will have their hands full for the San Antonio Spurs, maybe even Leonard will be asked to defend a guard.
Oct 16, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Gerald Green (14) and guard Goran Dragic (1) talk on the court during the game against the San Antonio Spurs at US Airways Center. The Suns won 121-90. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports
4.) How Will Tim Duncan Defend The Morris Twins?
Tim Duncan will likely guard either Marcus Morris or Markieff Morris at one point in the game, if not to start. When Boris Diaw is in the game for the San Antonio Spurs he will likely defend one of them, as he has the ability to defend them with his size and ability to move around. When Duncan defends the other it will be interesting to see if he chases them around or give them room, despite their ability to shoot from the perimeter. In the Suns season opener, the Morris twins combined for 33 points. One thing is certain: Duncan should have a big night on offense for the Spurs, as neither of the Morris twins have the size or ability to contain even an “aging” Duncan.
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