So many unknowns make predicting the Spurs season foggy
Maybe I jumped the gun. Okay, I definitely jumped the gun. While I stand by what I wrote a couple weeks ago, I’ll concede that it’s impossible to say for certain.
With this season’s San Antonio Spurs, there are so many unknowns that making any projections is akin to throwing darts blindfolded. Sure, you may hit a bullseye, but was it skill or luck?
Tim Duncan is completely healthy (as much as he can be for 34-years-old with a bad knee). Manu Ginobili is completely healthy. As is Tony Parker. All three are fully rested. We’ve been unable to say all that confidently for at least two seasons.
Adding Tiago Splitter to DeJuan Blair, Matt Bonner and Antonio McDyess gives Tim Duncan what looks like — on paper, at least — the Spurs’ most talented big man rotation in Duncan’s career. You know, other than not having a shot blocker.
The X-factor — and I hate that term but I feel like it fits — is how effective Richard Jefferson will be after his first season with the Spurs.
“Richardâ€™s back in his second year. And usually with us, people in their second year play a lot better, more acclimated to what we do,” Tim Duncan said.
RJ in his second year doesn’t guarantee an improvement, but everyone is definitely expecting one.
Like Jefferson, the Spurs don’t know what they’ll get with rookie James Anderson. Nursing a hamstring injury all summer, Anderson just recently got back on the court. But he hasn’t played long enough for the coaching staff to know what to expect this season; training camp is the team’s first significant look at Anderson.
With Tiago Splitter, the team has a better picture.
“People speak highly of him. Manu’s seen him more up close than I have, and he’s excited about him too,” Duncan said. “It’s not his first rodeo, so he’s got some experience under his belt.”
“He’ll have a lot to learn with our system, but all in all, I think we’re gonna let him bring what he can to the table and let him learn along the way.”
Adding it all up still gives you an incomplete answer. Training camp will fill a few more holes in the equation, as will preseason. No matter the questions, the Spurs are still optimistic.
“With Tiago, and we got a great draft pick [Anderson], DB in his second year,” Duncan said. “So with all those things, I think point to a very good year for us.â€