Traditionally, the San Antonio Spurs are not an athletic team. Tim Duncan, who is often considered the greatest ever at his position, was by no means an uber-athlete. Focal role players have often had the same shortcoming. Danny Green, Patty Mills, Boris Diaw, Thiago Splitter, and LaMarcus Aldridge was never head and shoulders faster and stronger than the competition, but they excelled with what they had.
In recent years, players like Stephen Curry and James Harden have established themselves as some of the premier players in the league. While both are world-class athletes, they don’t rely on sheer athletic ability to be good at their job. On the other hand, LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Russell Westbrook have carved out Hall of Fame-worthy careers almost entirely on their athletic gifts.
The San Antonio Spurs of 2021-22 is not exactly the most athletic team, but they fall into the middle of the road. It would be interesting to see Coach Popovich and his staff plug in a lineup made entirely of their most athletic young players.
Such a lineup could simply overpower weaker defenders, tear the ball away, and knock down or leap over anyone in the lane on the other end of the floor. Fit and technique can be thrown aside, I just want to imagine a five-man lineup that can leave the opposing team feeling battered and bruised.
Because the Spurs have a new-look roster going into the 2021-2022 season, the coaching staff will have several options to make this kind of a lineup reality. Here is what one of those lineups could look like this coming season.