With training camp and the preseason just around the corner coupled with the announcement that Manu Ginobili will be joining the staff, the anticipation for San Antonio Spurs basketball has reached its offseason peak. The first month of the season often says a lot about how the rest of the year should go, and it should be a very fun doozy for Spurs fans.
From October 20th hosting the Magic to November 18th at Minnesota, the Spurs play 15 games that could be very telling. Including both likely positives and negatives, there are five things that stand out as realistic for that first stretch.
The San Antonio Spurs Stay Healthy
Hopefully, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic won’t have much of an effect on the season, but if we’ve learned one thing about the virus over the past year and a half, we know how unpredictable it is. Keeping things on the court, however, the Spurs should be able to stay healthy and strong during the first stretch.
In recent years, the Spurs have had to battle past injuries, especially in the backcourt. This year should be different. Lonnie Walker and Dejounte Murray will probably not play side by side much this year if Derrick White enters the starting lineup full time. That means that with Walker, Forbes, Jones, and (maybe) Josh Primo coming off the bench, the guards won’t be exerting themselves too much, keeping wear and tear to a minimum.
Of course, oftentimes injuries happen in a single moment instead of the result of too many minutes, and those are impossible to predict. Hopefully, the Spurs avoid those.
Jakob Poeltl now also has more help down low. Between Thaddeus Young, Zach Collins, Drew Eubanks, Jock Landale, and Keldon Johnson, the frontcourt is also very deep. I imagine Popovich will distribute minutes fairly evenly all around, keeping strain down and healthy production up.