Thursday, October 15, 2009
Spurs getting ready for the start of the season
By Robby Lim
After four preseason games, the new look Spurs have shown us a glimpse of what to expect. DeJuan Blair is quickly learning the system and has been impressive, George Hill is proving to be a capable backup point. Ian Mahinmi has finally found a little rhythm, McDyess has been steady and looked like a Spur for years, Jefferson is getting to his comfort zone, and Hairston and Williams is battling it out for the final spot.
More importantly, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili looked healthy. Coach Pop mentioned before that he will use these preseason games to evaluate the new comers and camp hopefuls. But as the start of the NBA season approaches, Popovich will turn his focus on getting the team ready for the regular season, beginning tonight with the game against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
"In the beginning, it goes from evaluation, of both talent and conditioning, towards execution by the end of the preseason," Popovich said. "By then, the evaluation is done, and you know who's going to be in your rotation, for the most part. You've got to get people ready to play the first game, conditioning wise."
If that's the case, we should expect more playing time from our starters in this game. While this game still doesn't count, it's very important to see how will the new lineup play out against some tough competition.
Like the Spurs, the Cavs also had an off season overhaul of sorts. They are tougher upfront after getting Shaq and Leon Powe, then they improved their depth by adding Anthony Parker and Jamario Moon.
Even if this is only a preseason game, I hope to see TD-Dice-Parker-Manu-RJ together on the floor. It would be a joy to watch, last game we saw the value of having an athletic wing in Jefferson, McDyess is still has that reliable mid range shot and rebounding instincts and Manu is slowly becoming Manu again.
Ian, Hairston, Haislip, Bogans and even Williams should also be given minutes because it will help the coaching staff in deciding who will eventually make the Spurs' rotation. Blair and Hill are given, they could definitely contribute right away.
Ian, Haislip and Bogans are all included in the lineup but how can they help is still a question mark (specially Keith). Although Mahinmi has shown improvements and Haislip had his moments.
And lastly, with Hairston and Williams on the bubble; the Spurs should finally decide. Or as Pop suggested they may leave the final roster spot open. Personally, I want Hairston to get that final spot.
After seeing him grow and be patient with the Spurs system; I became a fan. His professionalism, hard work and dedication to defense is very Spur-like. But that's just me, hopefully all things will fall into place.
As the Spurs prepare for the start of the season, we should all be excited. After all that wheeling and dealings; it's obvious that the Spurs are going "all in". It could be argued that this is perhaps the most talented Spurs lineup during the Duncan-era, but that's secondary.
This year, the Spurs wants it; Duncan would loved to reach title number 5 first... And this may sound a broken record, but if healthy and everybody's role snug into place; the Spurs will definitely give it a hell of a fight...