When Doctor Strange willingly gave Thanos a crucial piece of his evil puzzle in Avengers: Infinity War, nobody understood his decision. The audience could not see the light at the end of the tunnel like the mystic wizard could, but business was handled when it was time for the revenge tour. The San Antonio Spurs are in a similar situation as they step into the 2023 regular season with their own version of Captain Marvel in the uniquely talented Victor Wembanyama.
Oddsmakers have set the Spurs' win total projection at 28.5 games, while some fans and media members have suggested another tanking season. The Spurs are past the tanking phase. Giving last season away was a necessary evil to lead the Silver & Black on the only viable path back to dominance. The bill has come due and opposing teams will now have to deal with a re-energized Spurs team showing up to reclaim the spot of bullies on the block.
3.) The Starting Lineup
In the preseason, San Antonio rolled out their new long limbs lineup with Jeremy Sochan starting at point guard. While this group had a few clunky offensive possessions, they still managed to score a handful of easy buckets all around the hardwood. Opponents were already rotating extra defenders to Wemby, allowing the Spurs to make opponents pay with their unselfish play and great shooting.
The defense was mesmerizing. San Antonio's effort, attention to detail, and coverage were pristine as they suffocated offense after offense. Some clubs were shorthanded in these games, and it was only the preseason, so take these observations with a grain of salt. Regardless, there was a noticeable difference in the intensity from the young Spurs. A tanking team wouldn't relegate opposing point guards to the shadow realm by setting the Polish Prince loose on them from the first whistle.