Preview of the NBA 2021-22 season: about San Antonio Spurs. Data, results from the previous season, a look at their squad and future free agents, the objectives of the course, the player to watch and a forecast on the franchise.
San antonio spurs
- Market movements: Arrivals of Bryn Forbes, Doug McDermott, Zach Collins, Keita Bates-Diop, Thaddeus Young (transfer), Al-Farouq Aminu (transfer) and Chandler Hutchison (transfer). Departures from DeMar DeRozan, Patrick Mills, Rudy Gay and Gorgui Deng (all moves here).
- Backcourt: Dejounte Murray, Derrick White, Keldon Johnson, Joshua Primo, Bryn Forbes, Lonnie Walker, Devin Vassell (mixto).
- Frontcourt: Thaddeus Young, Doug McDermott, Zach Collins, Al-Farouq Aminu, Jock Landale, Luka Šamanić, Drew Eubanks.
This is how they face the season
Go the honesty ahead. I am unable to do a chronological analysis of the Spurs last season. Seeing them very sporadically makes those views devoid of any context that I can provide. My only real approach to his season was recently to write a text on DeMar DeRozan, obviously focusing on how the team worked around the forward and not paying specific attention to other aspects.
However, experience is enough to find out what kind of team San Antonio has been until their loss to the Memphis Grizzlies in the play-in. The ever-competent leadership of Gregg Popovich makes the Spurs once again recognizable and capable of going head-to-head with three-quarters of the league’s teams on any given night.
They are, in a non-pejorative sense, a mediocre group. His plan was to reduce the revolutions of the match and end up winning it in defense, but end up hovering around half of the rating classification. defensive and rhythm indicate that they have not been able to impose their plan with the desired efficiency.
The team is plagued by a glaring lack of differential talent, as Lamarcus Aldridge’s departure in March left DeRozan and Murray the only players capable of consistently fabricating their own situations. To this must be added the prolonged absence of Derrick White, the team’s third-leading scorer.
And if a dearth of individual resolution was your biggest flaw, losing your franchise player and another of your strongest veterans this summer cannot be seen as anything but dire news. Free agency has helped the Spurs to gain very competitive players capable of setting the tone. But no matter how correct, Thaddeus Young, Al-Farouq Aminu, Doug McDermott, Bryn Forbes or the unknown Zach Collins, none of them contribute anything particularly relevant to the group. In fact, all of them have been, at best, moderately relevant players in very good teams or really important players in smaller squads.
The offseason leaves a panorama in which it only remains to hold on to the growth of the young people they already have to find that player who will push them to win games. Dejounte Murray, Derrick White and Keldon Johnson should take more stripes and sign their consecration stage. On the contrary, it is in doubt to what extent the competitiveness to which Pop’s presence forces will leave enough space for the growth of the Vassells, Joshua Primo, etc. The Texans are a franchise that has historically worked the draft very well, but they cannot live off it as long as Kawhi Leonard remains the last All-Star or All-NBA talent to have fished in these waters.
I mentioned months ago that the figure of Gregg Popovich deprived the team of a total rebuild while imbuing the Spurs with an unbearable, if logical, condescension. With less than thirty days to go into the new season, I believe it more than ever. San Antonio continues to be a team that competes beyond their means, but for a couple of years that hasn’t given them to get into playoff spots. Meanwhile, the workforce continues to devalue.
Going into rebuilding is not a guarantee of anything or a decision that should be taken in vain and wait for the fruits of the draft to fall. However, there are situations in which it is unavoidable because the project peaks and is lower than expected at first. For more than 20 years Tim Duncan and his associates supported the roof of San Antonio allowing them to be one of those few franchises that can afford never to look at reconstruction face to face. But now the structure of the building gives way more and more, and if a demolition is not chosen in time, the rubble can bury any future.
The player to watch
About to start his sixth year in the NBA, even if he missed a full year due to injury, we already know who Dejounte Murray is. A good player whose verticality is the fastest route to the basket that Spurs have, a very good defender on the ball and one of the players who more balls play in defense thanks to his long arms and fast hands, and a point guard eager to better understand the game and develop his organizational side.
Unfortunately, we also sense that it falls short of being a franchise player to build on. Despite the physical difficulties that have surrounded him, it is a fact that is far from showing that he can reach the All-Star level, even if he eventually does. Even so, perhaps only he and Derrick White are currently in a position to be part of the hard core of some hypothetical Spurs that in the future will once again inhabit the nobility of the league.
This season seems crucial for it. Murray is expected to increase considerably the 23.4% of use that has registered this past season. The goal should be to make more and more decisions with the ball. Situations like the one he is about to face tend to lead to seasons of statistical swelling on the downside as well, but Murray has already shown himself capable of spreading more game while reducing his number of losses. He may not be able to maintain his superb 3.1 loss assists ratio, but he is not going to be a player who lacks the ball too much.
With no other primary generator on the court and with the sole creative help of Thaddeus Young, this course will discern if Murray can definitively evolve to be a point guard who is comfortable kneading large amounts of the ball or if he will continue to abuse the ball. pick and roll and the transition to scoring through your physique. We may also see a substantial improvement in the outer draft, but its poor low-volume efficiency does not give the impression that it will experience a big jump there.
NBA preview 2021-22 San Antonio Spurs, prediction
Elio Martínez, director of Trends Wide, leaves a personal and subjective forecast on what he thinks each franchise will do during the season in the NBA 2021-22 preview.
Does not give. If it does not give. It would be a miracle if the Spurs got into play-in spots. Or a couple of failures of higher quality teams due to injuries or a lack of chemistry on the court. I think the Spurs are in no man’s land and it will be this course that defines what direction they take as a project, because there is little point in languishing years as a mediocre team with no hope of moving up clearly and consistently. 12º from the East.
Previous team analyzed: Chicago Bulls. Next team: New Orleans Hornets.
(Cover photo by Jonathan Daniel / Getty Images)