Excitement continues to build around the young San Antonio Spurs in Orlando
Throughout the San Antonio Spurs tumultuous 2019-20 season, Spurs fans were able to cling to the promise of a brighter future as the team slogged through a season marked by frustration and inconsistency. While the team struggled for stretches at a time, there were bright flashes every so often that gave us all hope.
It could have been a slick steal on one end followed by a layup on the other by Dejounte Murray, Derrick White putting the clamps on the opposing teams most dangerous scorer, Lonnie Walker slamming home a thunderous dunk, or Jakob Poeltl sending an opponents shot back into the lower reaches of the AT&T Center, the young Spurs made it clear that they were a force to be reckoned with.
Unfortunately, as promising as the young guys appeared, that’s really all we had to go off of – promises of an exciting future fueled by the growing youth movement. But now, as the season approaches it’s highly anticipated resumption, the young Spurs are inching closer to getting their chance to shine.
San Antonio Spurs focused on developing young guys over final games
Even before it came out that LaMarcus Aldridge and Trey Lyles would miss the remainder of the regular season, many of us were hopeful that the Spurs coaching staff would use the final eight regular-season games to get younger guys more playing time and experiment more with rotations. If that was our hope, then the absence of Lyles and Aldridge has all but made it a necessity.
The vibe around the Spurs in the bubble so far is full of energy and excitement. The whole team, and especially the young guys, seem to be bursting with energy and are all ready to get back to competing. They will be going for an NBA record 23rd straight postseason appearance but at this point, it seems that keeping the streak alive is taking a backseat to player development. If the team is able to make the playoffs, great. But at this point, we know that the coaches aren’t going to put making the playoffs ahead of getting the younger players the minutes they need.
"They're coming out here and playing with desperation. They really want to prove something." – Rudy Gay on the Spurs young players in Orlando during media session. #nba #gospursgo #nbatwitter pic.twitter.com/GZOVocntcx
— JeffGSpursZone (@JeffGSpursZone) July 16, 2020
It finally sounds like we’re going to see serious playing time for Keldon Johnson, Lonnie Walker, and possibly even Luka Samanic. With Lyles out, Samanic and Johnson are in great positions to be used in ways that they might not have before.
By all accounts, the young Spurs know the opportunity that’s before them and have been preparing accordingly. They all seem to know what they had to work on from an individual level and understand that these final eight games are more about building chemistry as a group and setting the groundwork for next season more than they are about making a legitimate push for the playoffs.
This is great news for San Antonio Spurs fans. It really seems that the organization has fully embraced the rebuild that we’ve all known they needed for a while now. The next step will be making smart decisions in free agency based around that plan. But, for now, let’s just be happy that the team is all on the same page with what needs to happen in Orlando.
Buckle in San Antonio Spurs fans we’re going to see a fast-paced, energetic squad on the floor when play resumes later this month. We can’t wait.