The Spurs success this year will come down to four components. One is the inside post game and rebounding. The second is perimeter shooting. The third is defense, and the fourth component is the bench.
I feel confident in all four components coming together. Only one do I believe is still up in the air, or unknown in terms of its possible success.
First and foremost, the inside post game and rebounding ability will be through the roof. Not one NBA team has a better front line than the Spurs. Aldridge demands to be covered for his incredibly accurate mid range jumpers, and that opens up the inside game for him. Pau Gasol has a nice, soft
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jumper, and a great back to the basket game with the use of either hand for short hooks or contested lay ups inside.
Finally there is Kawhi Leonard. He has a post game that continues to improve each year, and combined with his ability to shoot the 3 pointer and drive to the basket, he is a hard man to guard.
If any two of the three draw out the defense, because of their shooting ability, the third guy will make them pay in the post.
The rebounding of the Spurs led by our new Big 3 of Aldridge, Leonard and Gasol are all excellent rebounders. Their length alone will gobble up X amount of boards each and every game.
If the David Lee’s and Dwayne Deadmon’s off the bench rebound well, which they are both known for, the Spurs could be the top rebounding team in the entire NBA.
Component number two, which is always a fickle friend, is outside shooting, or 3 point shooting. It deserted the Golden State Warriors in the Conference Finals and ultimately in the Finals contributing to their loss to the grittier Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Spurs can be deadly when their 3 pointers are falling. Danny Green, Patty Mills, Leonard and Manu Ginobili are a big part of the perimeter/3 point attack of the Spurs.
If Davis Bertans can come along as he did the other night against the Hawks and add another perimeter/ 3 point weapon to the Spurs, that would be great!
Leonard and Ginobili will be there in the end. If the streaky Green and Mills get hot, the Spurs will be there in the end, holding their 6th Championship trophy.
The next component is their defense. Yes, Duncan will be missed as the anchor for the Spurs defense for all these years. Gregg Popovich DEMANDS defense.
They will play great defense once again. Aldridge, Gasol, and Leonard are all long and know how to protect the basket. Leonard is the premier perimeter defender in the NBA. He is also the defending 2-time Defensive Player of the year in the NBA. Green is also a fantastic defender. Parker has become a very good defender.
The defense will be solid once again. like the defense, Pop also demands unselfish play, and the Spurs always share the ball.
The 4th component, and the only one that is unknown, is the bench. Besides Mills and Ginobili’s contributions, will others rise up to make the Spurs stronger and deeper. It was a weak spot exposed by the Thunder in last season’s playoffs.
If Deadmon, and Lee, and Bertans can contribute, and Jonathon Simmons can continue to grow as a play-maker and defender, then the Spurs can punish teams when the second unit takes the court as they often have in the past.
I think they will be decent at the least. If they can be good, then our front court trio,along with an aging Tony Parker can get some rest. A rested and strong Spurs team would be a Championship contender once again.