San Antonio Spurs: Will the Spurs be a bottom-five team?
By Damien Bartonek
San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich hears the noise
One cannot discuss the San Antonio Spurs and fail to bring up Coach Gregg Popovich who, in the eyes of many, is the greatest head coach of all time. While he isn’t necessarily an on-court factor, he is in the sense that he'll put his guys in positions to win, sometimes even to a fault.
After numerous complaints, bickering, and loudmouthed nonsense from members of the national media regarding his time as the coach for Team USA, I think it’s abundantly clear that Coach Popovich is coming back on a mission. Sure, he knows just like everybody else that this team is extremely young and won’t have championship (if not playoff) expectations, but he refuses to believe otherwise.
Coach Pop and the front office successfully recognized what the team needed going into the offseason, and the newly-constructed roster reflects that.
They determined that they needed a shot-creator and drafted a very young one in Josh Primo. The team also needed shooters, so they signed McDermott, Forbes, and Jock Landale, and created a path for Vassell and Walker to get more usage on the court. Finally, because they needed more defensive versatility, they snagged a low-risk, high-reward defender in Zach Collins while adding a veteran Swiss-army knife in Thad Young.
Coach Pop and the front office made the most that they could out of a superstar-less free-agent class. The new Spurs team may not have an All-Star, but they have a wide variety of players who can contribute on both ends of the floor and play well off of one another.
There will certainly be ups and downs, there will be tons of growing pains, and likely some shocking surprises--both positive and negative. But one thing is certain: the Spurs are still coached by one of the greatest of all time and are too talented and versatile across the board to be a bottom-five team in the NBA.
Every player on this roster has improved every season in one way or another. After experiencing one of the clunkiest roster constructions of all time, they moved off their veteran talent and gave the keys to a young group that desperately needs an increase in touches. Could it fail? Absolutely. But the likelihood of a Popovich-led group falling to the bottom five of the NBA seems doubtful, if not incredibly unlikely.
Spurs fans shouldn’t necessarily expect this team to make the playoffs, but in that same breath, they shouldn’t expect them to be a bottom-five group in the NBA either. The same should go for the Vegas oddsmakers and NBA media members. Just because the Spurs don’t have a player that is nationally recognized doesn’t necessarily mean that the team will be in trouble.