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San Antonio Spurs: 5 Exciting preseason storylines to watch

San Antonio Spurs Dejounte Murray, Tre Jones
San Antonio Spurs Dejounte Murray, Tre Jones / Nic Antaya/Getty Images
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Luka Samanic / Alex Menendez/Getty Images

4. Which big man will play his way into regular minutes?

With the additions of Zach Collins, Jock Landale, Al-Farouq Aminu, and Thaddeus Young, the Spurs grew considerably taller this season. With the departure of Rudy Gay, who played backup power forward often for San Antonio last season, that leaves minutes for someone to fill that role.

While no one is completely sure yet who the starting power forward will be, my guess is Coach Popovich might begin with Doug McDermott in that role. His ability to spread the floor for Johnson and Murray is just as important as his ability to knock down shots from deep. Still, even that isn't a given.

The broad question to address is, beyond Jakob Poeltl, who will establish themselves as deserving of regular minutes as a big man on this roster? It'll probably be someone who can be switchable on defense and active in the open court in a season where Gregg Popovich is talking about being faster than in years past.

The preseason will be an excellent time to see who plays well at the four and five positions, even if we might not be able to see Zach Collins until later in the regular season. It should be a very interesting big-man battle in October, and I'd place my bet on Landale impressing sooner than expected.

San Antonio Spurs
Derrick White, Dejounte Murray, Jakob Poeltl, Keldon Johnson / Tom Pennington/Getty Images

5. How devastating can the Spurs' defense be?

While there will probably be some offensive struggles with this San Antonio Spurs team all season long, there's no reason they should land out of the top 10 in defense. From wings like Murray, White, and Vassell to bigs like Poeltl and Young, there are defenders that range from very good to elite on the 2022 squad.

While putting out an all-defense lineup would probably be too ambitious in the offense-heavy league, it will still be fun to see three or four more than capable defenders locking down opponents as the season goes on.

Many of the Spurs are long for their position and intelligent with positioning, with White being one of the best defending guards in the NBA. The removal of LaMarcus Aldridge and DeMar DeRozan already made this team better defensively, and their personnel heading into a fresh season is very promising.

Look for Coach Popovich to experiment with different defensive lineups in the preseason, perhaps inserting Tre Jones into the lineup as a ball-stopper capable of sticking in front of his man.

dark. Next. 3 Offseason regrets heading into 21-22

Preseason basketball is finally here. The Spurs' coaching staff will be keeping a close eye on several different storylines as the regular season approaches, and you should too.

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