NBA Power Rankings #13: San Antonio Spurs
photo via flickr
This is probably the team I'm the least confident about in the top half of the NBA. San Antonio has been in the playoffs for over two decades in a row and it seems odd to think that they would fall off but recent injuries, roster turnover, and a tough Western Conference put the Spurs at risk.
Last year the major storyline for the Spurs was the Kawhi Leonard drama and I think we're all glad to see that's finally over. Kawhi is in Toronto, DeMar DeRozan is in San Antonio and in the near future the media should be able to stop talking about it on a daily basis. DeMar should be a good fit in the Spurs system and the pairing with LaMarcus Aldridge should lead to the greatest midrange duo that the league has to offer. Kawhi only played 7 games last year and were able to make the playoffs without him, so adding DeMar should be an automatic upgrade in terms of on court production and the added bonus of not having to answer Kawhi questions throughout the entire year.
While the addition of DeMar on the wing is an upgrade, they have lost a lot of guards this summer. Tony Parker has left to play for Michael Jordan and the Hornets (hopefully we'll be able to erase this from our memory one day), Manu Ginobili retired after a tremendous career, Dejounte Murray will most likely miss the entire season with a torn ACL, and Derrick White will miss six-to-eight weeks with a heel injury. With the Western Conference being so tightly contested, every game is important and could cost you your season.
The Spurs can't afford to get off to a slow start and will need DeRozan and Aldridge will have come out firing on all cylinders from the get go. If they want to keep their playoff streak alive, they'll need their stars to shine and see another outstanding coaching performance from Greg Popovich. It won't be easy, but they should be up to the task.