2009-10 NBA Season Preview: San Antonio Spurs



Written by Paul Banks of NBC Chicago and the Washington Times, and David Kay of the The Sports Bank. Send Paul an e-mail here: paulb05 AT hotmail DOT com.
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San Antonio Spurs (Last Year: 54-28)

Depth Chart:

C: Tim Duncan/Antonio McDyess/Theo Ratliff/Ian Mahinmi

PF: Matt Bonner/DeJuan Blair/Marcus Haislip

SF: Richard Jefferson/Manu Ginobli/Malik Hairston

SG: Michael Finley/Roger Mason/Keith Bogans

PG: Tony Parker/George Hill

Head Coach: Greg Popovich (14th year)

2009-2010 Team Salary: $82.0 million

Projected 2010-2011 Team Salary: approximately $58.6 million



Off-Season Grade: Aced

After last year's first-round exit in the postseason, something needed to be done to improve an aging roster whom many felt was in it's last hoorah of being title contenders. What the Spurs ultimately did this offseason was turn aging veterans Kurt Thomas, Bruce Bowen and Fabricio Oberto into Richard Jefferson, Antonio McDyess and DeJuan Blair; an upgrade all across the board.

Jefferson adds another explosive player to the offense who can also draw the task of guarding the opposing team's best wing player. McDyess inked a 3-year deal worth the mid-level exception and is more versatile than Thomas or Oberto. Blair is going to be an absolute steal, somehow slipping into the second round. He will bring a physicality and toughness down low that the Spurs lost by trading away Thomas. Adding another veteran big man in Theo Ratliff adds even more depth up front.



2009-2010 Outlook:

The addition of Jefferson and having a healthy Manu Ginobli (assuming he doesn't swat any more bats out of the air and get rabies) puts the Spurs in consideration with the Lakers as the top teams in the Western Conference. Having Jefferson, Ginobli, Parker and Duncan on the floor at the same time during final stretches of games is a tough combination to stop.

Injuries will once again be a determining factor in how far the Spurs go this postseason. Duncan, Ginobli and Parker have logged a ton of minutes and have a history with nagging issues that have caused them to miss time on the floor, but their added depth will be a plus as the Spurs can go 10 or 11 deep. If everyone stays healthy, San Antonio should be battling the Lakers for a spot in the NBA Finals.



Looking Ahead to the Summer of 2010:

Manu is a free agent after this season. I imagine he will want to finish his career in San Antonio and may take a hometown discount to stay a Spur. Several other valuable role players are free agents as well so the Spurs will be busy next summer trying to keep their role players around. The Summer of 2011 is when things get really interesting since Parker and Jefferson will be free agents.

2009-10 NBA Power Ranking: 5th



Written by Paul Banks of NBC Chicago and the Washington Times, and David Kay of the The Sports Bank.
Send Paul an e-mail here: paulb05 AT hotmail DOT com.
All other e-mail, including advertising and link proposals, send to: wpc112@gmail.com




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Looking Ahead to the Summer of 2010:

Manu is a free agent after this season. I imagine he will want to finish his career in San Antonio and may take a hometown discount to stay a Spur. Several other valuable role players are free agents as well so the Spurs will be busy next summer trying to keep their role players around. The Summer of 2011 is when things get really interesting since Parker and Jefferson will be free agents.

2009-10 NBA Power Ranking: 5th



Written by Paul Banks of NBC Chicago and the Washington Times, and David Kay of the The Sports Bank.
Send Paul an e-mail here: paulb05 AT hotmail DOT com.
All other e-mail, including advertising and link proposals, send to: wpc112@gmail.com








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