San Antonio Spurs News

Spurs will be shorthanded in Preseason Opener

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The San Antonio Spurs preseason opener is on Thursday, October 8, against the Sacramento Kings at Sleep Train Arena. Spurs fans will have to wait to see the full Spurs roster play. A report came out stating that Coach Gregg Popovich will miss the game alongside Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Boris Diaw, and Manu Ginobili.

This doesn’t come as a surprise, Coach Popovich does have a history of resting his older players. Assistant coach Ettore Messina is a candidate to take on Pop’s duty for the day.

While the news will disappoint fans, it can end up being a good thing. LaMarcus Aldridge and David West are expected to make their official Spurs debut as well.

The biggest positive is that Kyle Anderson, Jonathon Simmons, Jimmer Fredette, and Rasual Butler will have a chance to showcase their play.

Anderson is a lock to make the roster, but he is in position to fight for the backup small forward position. The 22-year-old won the NBA Summer League MVP Award. In seven Las Vegas Summer League games, he averaged 21 points and 6 rebounds. He is a terrific ball-handler at 6’9, and he has superb vision. Anderson can use improvement in his speed and shooting range.

Simmons, like Anderson impressed in the summer league. The 26-year-old wing averaged 17 points and 4 rebounds with the Spurs in the summer league. He is a good shooter and a willing defender, who is looking to help replace Marco Belinelli‘s void.

Interestingly enough, it will be the first time Belinelli faces the Spurs. Belinelli already impressed the Kings as he went for 32 points in the preseason opener against Portland.

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Fredette will be the most interesting player to watch. The sharpshooter hasn’t lived up to his status as the 10th pick in the 2011 NBA Draft. Ever since his rookie season, Fredette hasn’t started a game. On a positive note, he is a 38% three-point shooter in his career. If Fredette knocks down a few shots and works hard on defense, he has a solid shot at making the roster.

The Spurs surprised a few people when they signed Butler. The 36-year-old averaged 7.7 points and 2.6 rebounds with Washington last season. The signing makes some sense, the Spurs don’t have a clear cut backup small forward. Butler’s contract is non-guaranteed, but he has the shooting ability and experience to help the Spurs this season.

Starters Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green are expected to be in uniform.

The game is scheduled to tip-off at 10:00 p.m. ET.

Next: 3 Things to Look for in Spurs Preseason Opener

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