San Antonio Spurs News

San Antonio Spurs: Who will be in the closing lineup this season?

SAN ANTONIO, TX - SEPTEMBER 30: DeMar DeRozan #10, and Rudy Gay #22 of the San Antonio Spurs are seen against the Miami Heat during a pre-season game on September 30, 2018 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO, TX - SEPTEMBER 30: DeMar DeRozan #10, and Rudy Gay #22 of the San Antonio Spurs are seen against the Miami Heat during a pre-season game on September 30, 2018 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images)
facebooktwitterreddit

The San Antonio Spurs have a ton of depth on this roster, but that makes lineup decisions more difficult. Who will close games for the Spurs this season?

Gregg Popovich will have some interesting decisions to make at the end of games this season as the San Antonio Spurs have an interesting mix of youth, solid veterans, and All-NBA players on this team.

There are really only two players who are guaranteed to get minutes in clutch situations this season: DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge.

The other three spots in the lineup will be determined by matchups, injuries, and strategy as the Spurs have the personnel to play many different ways.

They can play small with Aldridge at center surrounded by four perimeter players. Or they can play big with Aldridge at power forward and Pau Gasol or Jakob Poeltl at center.

More from Air Alamo

Gregg Popovich will be experimenting with different lineups all year long, but which players make up the best five heading into the season?

With Dejounte Murray out for the season, I think we could see DeMar DeRozan run the point in clutch situations.

The ball will likely be in his hands a lot down the stretch anyway, so the Spurs should focus on surrounding him with a combination of shooting and defense in their closing lineup.

With DeRozan as the nominal point guard, I’d play the hot hand at shooting guard along with him in the backcourt.

That could include Patty Mills, Marco Belinelli, or Bryn Forbes. Mills is probably the most reliable player among these three with Belinelli being a close second, but I could see Bryn Forbes getting some clutch minutes over one or both of them if he hits a few threes early on in the game.

Rudy Gay and LaMarcus Aldridge are no-brainers in the front court which leaves the center position as the only question mark.

I think Pop will rely on Pau Gasol in crunch time early on in the season because of his propensity to play veterans over younger players, but Poeltl will eventually take over as the go-to center once he earns the trust of the coaching staff.

Gasol’s three-point shooting opens up the floor offensively, but he’s a liability on the defensive end at this point in his career. Poeltl has the potential to become an elite defender, and he can bring a rim-running element that has been missing from this offense.

Want your voice heard? Join the Air Alamo team!

Write for us!

Next. 15 greatest draft picks in Spurs history

Injuries have already hit this unit hard, but I still think Pop can put together a reliable closing lineup night after night thanks to the depth on this roster.

With DeRozan, Gay and Aldridge as the mainstays, Pop will ride the hot hand at the other two positions until someone stakes a claim on those crunch time minutes.

It will be interesting to see if Pop agrees with the closing lineup I’ve proposed when the regular season opens against the Timberwolves on October 17th.

facebooktwitterreddit