San Antonio Spurs: Why the first game of the season is important
By Tyler Clerkin
Game 1 of the San Antonio Spurs’ season will be crucial toward what happens afterward.
The San Antonio Spurs tip off their season on Wednesday, Oct.18 against the newly built Minnesota Timberwolves. Although it is always important to get off on the right foot, this game means more.
The Spurs are facing what could be one of their worst seasons yet in the Gregg Popovich era. Due to the fact they are without Tony Parker and lost two key players during the offseason.
Center Dewayne Dedmon was able to grab roughly seven rebounds a game. With the loss of Dedmon, this leaves the Spurs lacking depth in the center position. As a result, this will make the Spurs play more small ball. And it looks like they are ready for the task.
The Spurs were able to pick up 31-year-old small forward Rudy Gay during the off season. Although he won’t start, his presence off the bench will be crucial for the Spurs.
Once an elite player, Gay suffered injuries that would put his career on hold. This could be a steal for the Spurs if he is able to play on the level he once did. And he seems to be very ready to play in the Silver and Black.
.@RudyGay has a message for you, #SpursFamily! pic.twitter.com/BZ3gmW5Ind
— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) September 13, 2017
With this Gay in the mix, this means when the bench comes in, the tallest player on the floor will be under seven foot. As a result, this will speed the game up, which is not something we are used to seeing from San Antonio.
Going up against a hungry young team to start of the season is the perfect way to try out this new offense. With star guard Jimmy Butler and guard Jeff Teague now in the mix, the Wolves will be pushing the ball more than ever.
With the evolution of the game thanks to the Golden State Warriors, fast paced play is key. The Spurs have no choice to play this style if they want a chance at winning a championship.
With guard Tony Parker out, the bench players could step up here. Guard Dejounte Murray could make a statement during this game.
The young guard is looking to start this season. If he plays well, he could turn into a force for the future.
He will have his hands full during this game. Going up against veteran guard and former All-Star Jeff Teague is a daunting task.
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This game could also be huge for superstar forward Kawhi Leonard. After a fantastic season last year, all eyes are on him to keep the Spurs in contention.
Last season Leonard finished top four in MVP votes, made the All-Defensive team, and also made the All-NBA team. After all of these accolades, it seems like he can still do better.
Starting off with a monster game could be just what he needs to make this season his best yet. Butler will provide a great challenge for Leonard.
It is also always very important to start off the season with a win. After a hectic offseason, the Western Conference is looking better than ever.
There are more teams that can give the Spurs some trouble for a good seed for the playoffs. And the Timberwolves are one of them.
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Each team needs a win in this game to help their confidence going into the season. If the Spurs can pull off a win, this could help show the team that they can still play at a high level.
Although this is one of 82 games, this could be one of the most crucial. The Spurs need to bring their best to ensure that this season will be another great one.