One thing is certain this season -- the San Antonio Spurs are going to have to change up their recent strategies to be successful. While all signs point to them finishing in the lower-30s in wins for the third straight season, that's not written in stone.
This team is capable of unpredictable results this season. Whether that means they're even worse than expected or suddenly a playoff team is yet to be seen, but there are things they can do to make sure it's the latter.
San Antonio showcased some trends in the preseason that we're likely going to see continue, some of which could define the direction of the team. While they finished in the top half (13th) of all teams in points per game at 109.6 in the preseason, there were still some aspects of the offense that will need addressing when the games start to count.
1. The Spurs' pace of play wasn't as advertised in the preseason
"We want a lot of activity, a lot of pace, just play fast," said Coach Gregg Popovich during Spurs Media Day. "Hopefully smart, but the pace should really be enjoyable to watch."
Pace of play was a recurring theme of Media Day, with the coach and players emphasizing how fun it will be to see this young group run up and down the court. There was a lot to love about how the Spurs increased their pace in the five games leading to the regular season. Still, I want to see more.
San Antonio's roster has an average age of about 25 years, and there's no reason they shouldn't be one of the quickest teams in the league this season. In the preseason, 11.7% of their field goals came on the fast break, which had them at 17th in the NBA. Their pace of 102.7 had them all the way down at 20th.
While the Spurs are clearly playing much faster than they did last season when their pace of play was 99.45, they'll need to bump that figure up even more. The best weapon you can have when you're outmatched talent-wise is to create variance, something that Daryl Morey often employed with his Rockets squads shooting an ungodly amount of threes.
San Antonio is fast, but they need to be even faster.