Popovich reveals "free-for-all" Spurs starting lineup strategy for 2023
By Oscar Barkis
San Antonio Spurs fans who are tuned in at this point of the offseason have had two main focal points over the past few weeks: training camp and questions about the starting lineup. On Monday morning, head coach Gregg Popovich brought those points together in a single statement.
Monday was Media Day, officially signifying the start of training camp, and in response to one of the first questions of the morning-- who the starting point guard will be-- Coach Pop had this to say:
It’s a classic nonstatement from Popovich, a man who loves to drive both his opponents and fans of the Spurs crazy. If you are like me, all you’ve wondered over the last several months is what the Spurs’ starting lineup will look like to start the season (which is now just about three weeks away).
Less might be set in stone than Spurs fans thought
In fact, I’ve already written a piece about the guards on the roster, one of many about the topic on Air Alamo, which I began by projecting the starting lineup. In the piece, I assumed (incorrectly, I guess) that there were three locked in starters to begin the year— Jakob Poeltl, Keldon Johnson, and Devin Vassell.
As I said, pretty classic Coach Pop, not giving answers until they’re absolutely necessary. I am pretty confident that my assumption about those three starters will hold true in the Spurs’ first game against the Orlando Magic on October 19th. But Popovich—always one to play chess while others are playing checkers—wants to keep people guessing.
Maybe he sees this as a way to light fire under the young guys (Josh Primo, Jeremy Sochan, Tre Jones, etc.) who now may feel they have a good chance to be in the starting lineup to start the year. Related, in one of the other intriguing quotes of the day, Pop had this to say on plans for the rookies: “there will be some guys getting minutes much quicker than they might have expected.”
These are just a couple of many tidbits to come out of Media Day so far. I’m sure the team at Air Alamo will keep you updated in articles reacting to more quotes as they come out. This was just something that I wanted to jump on, being one of the more pivotal moments of the early season.
The starter at point guard — actually, the starters at all four positions other than center -- will be something to watch.