I just replied to a post in the "future of the Spurs" topic, and I broke down how I felt the Spurs players did last year, and how I felt most of them would improve and be better this year. I just thought I'd bring a little more attention to it, in case any Spurs fans are buying into this nonsense that the Spurs might not even make the playoffs.
They definitely will. They will be battling for a high seed imo. Here's my post.
Originally Posted by SinJackal
How is it hard to believe they're a playoff team when they won 50 games last season with several injuries to all of their key players? They have proven time and time again that they're a good team regardless of injury.
Tony Parker: Was injured for nearly HALF of last season. Played through 30-some games with plantar fasciitis, and had to sit out many games because of it as well.
Ginobili: Played diminished minutes for a long period of time due to sore ankles.
Duncan: Sat out of a lot of games with everyday pains.
Blair: Wasn't fully recovered from knee issues.
Richard Jefferson: Didn't fit into the team properly until very late in the year.
Bonner: Not nearly as useful as he was the year before.
Mason: His play dropped off, and has not been resigned.
So. . .all of their big 3 were missing games or playing through injury for an average of at least 1/3rd of the season EACH. They still did not have a real center to play with Duncan (second year in a row), and their bench was not up to snuff.
Tony Parker: Declined to play for team France, so he will be healthier next season. He played for them every year in the offseason which was making him miss games during the regular season. His production will clearly go up next season since the odds of him remaining healthy are higher.
Ginobili: Same as with Parker, only for Argentina, not France. Ginobili will take the offseason for rest and regular training, and no full on games so save wear and tear on his body. Likewise with Parker, the odds of him remaining healthy for once are higher. His production will go up overall.
Duncan: With his minutes held down, I dont' expect a dropoff in production at all. It will be roughly what it was last year, 5% better or worse. Roughly the same.
DeJuan Blair: A player everyone likes, and feel was a steal for the Spurs late in the draft. Has put up multiple 20/20 games last season, and is working on defending PFs better this offseason. Another year for Blair to get better = good news for the Spurs.
George Hill: Just like Blair, another now apparent steal late in the draft. He's proven to be a very reliable player off the bench last season. He's had an extra year to train and get better. This is good for the Spurs.
Tiago Splitter: The defensive center the Spurs have obviously been lacking for years. Spanish league MVP, one of the best european players for the last few years. Another intelligent draft choice for SA years ago. With his mindset, and style of play, he will fit in perfectly with SA.
James Anderson: The widely agreed "best shooter of the draft" last season. Yet another good player who the Spurs drafted late in the draft. Depending on just how bad his injury was, he will make an impact for the Spurs sooner or later. Regardless. . .it was yet another good, late first round pick for SA.
Richard Jefferson: He can't possibly be worse than last season. He'll be better. He was also playing much more productively in the last 1/4th of the season as opposed to the first 3/4ths. He was fitting in nicely and rotating on defense properly.
Summary: With few exceptions, nobody who knows anything about the Spurs thinks that the Spurs are worse this year than last year. They are going to be better at nearly every spot on the roster, including Parker/Ginobil. The only players who have more than a 20% chance of being worse than last year are McDyess, and negligable player at this point, and Duncan who won't be much worse if he is at all.
With the improved health, and increased rest for all the important Spurs players, and added years onto all of the good young players, as well as the addition of Splitter and Anderson, there's no way in hell the Spurs are missing the playoffs. They are a top 4 seed. Good chance at top 2-3. Book it.
There's plenty to be encouraged about next season with the Spurs. They still did well despite tons of problems last season. This next season looks much brighter than last year if you consider that everyone's going to start the season healthy (besides perhaps Anderson). Healthy Spurs always = dangerous Spurs.
Perhaps the best thing of all is that the Spurs have actually been drafting extremely well the last few years (well they always have), but have this time retained every good draftee they've picked lately. Blair, Hill, Splitter, and Anderson are all very good players. Sure we've had to patch some of them up, but that's what you gotta do when you only have picks in the 20s or higher for over a decade. Let's not forget we drafted Parker and Ginobili with late picks too and they turned into big stars. We also drafted Scola, but obviously we never got him to play for SA. We got lucky with Blair and Anderson falling to us due to them being injured, but it's too bad for every team that passed on them because they wanted a player who would be good immediately rather than in an extra few months instead (I don't get the logic, if he's good, he's good, who cares if it's a few months later?)
Anyway. . .there's plenty to look forward to. If Parker and Ginobili not playing this offseason helps as much as they think it will, and Duncan at least remains roughly what he was last season. . .I don't see the Spurs being any lower than a 3 or 4 seed next year. Seriously.
Some might call me a "homer" for saying they will do so well, but I'm actually a very pessemistic sports fan. I always look at what's bad first, and assume the worst. In this case, I think the people assuming the worst are just doomsaying, and looking at how non-Spurs teams have fallen apart. Looking at history like that, of course it's easy to assume they'd just drop off. But it's SA. The teams that have dropped off did not fill in their roster with excellent young players with really late draft picks like SA did. Ginobili has obviously not slowed down (look at the end of last season), so his age doesn't matter (guards don't seem to age as fast as big men anyway), and Parker's not even 30 yet.
Their run's not over. I feel they have two years left of being strong contenders (being a top 8 ranked team in the NBA). Let people say what they want. The Spurs will shut them up next season. Let us Spurs fan enjoy it when they have to backpeddle.