The 2015-16 NBA Season starts in less than two weeks, preseason hoops are in full swing, and playoff prognostications have begun in earnest. Since season previews can get bogged down by team-specific minutiae, and we cover every basketball team, we’re providing our readers reasons why you should care about all 30 teams in the Association.
The Spurs might be the most exciting team in the NBA. Despite the titles, that wasn’t the case 10 years ago when Tim Duncan’s peak meant a lot of slow-it-down games where the ball was pounded into the post and the team relied more heavily on his offensive and defensive abilities.
But Duncan got older. Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker also showed they could lead the offense with a more pick-and-roll heavy attack. So Popovich instituted the basics of the motion offense with then-assistants Mike Budenholzer and Brett Brown, now the head coaches in Atlanta and Philadelphia, respectively.
This Spurs juggernaut was run-and-gun, thriving on spacing, increased pace, passing and some misdirection that probably resembles jazz, if we knew anything about jazz.
Basically, the became a basketball purists handbook for excellence and if you’re like us, your Old Man gets choked up every time they get an easy layup on some brutal back-cut.
With so much to choose from — Duncan’s swan song, Tony Parker’s health, Slo Mo Kyle Anderson’s development, will we ever get a Matt Bonner bobblehead mailed to us — it’s hard to simply pick two things that make the Spurs matter. There are almost too many to list.
But last year’s Defensive Player of the Year, Kawhi Leonard, and this summer’s big free agency splash, LaMarcus Aldridge, are what we’ve selected. Except, we’re going to discuss the one area of Kawhi’s game he still needs to improve upon — his offense — and the biggest question after Aldridge signed in San Antonio — what role does he inhabit in San Antonio’s motion offense.