Season Preview: San Antonio Spurs
This season marks both an end of an era and the beginning of a new one for the Spurs.
With the retirement of Tim Duncan, it marks the end of one of the greatest “Big 3” to ever play the game.
It also allows for the official Kawhi Leonard era to begin.
2015-2016 Record: 67-15
The Spurs had one of the best seasons possible last year, but you would never know it by the media’s coverage.
They won 55 of their games by double-digits. They only finished six games behind the “greatest team” of all-time.
Unfortunately for them, they ran into the former duo of Westbrook and Durant in the 2nd round.
Leonard, who is one of the best defenders in the league, also led the team from an offensive standpoint. He put up 21.2 PPG, which is almost five points more than the year before.
Aldridge added another 18.0 PPG while leading the team in rebounding at 8.5. Despite that productivity, there are rumors that he was unhappy being the second option, which he has denied.
As a whole, this team finished 10th in the league offensively, with 103.5 PPG. It was their defense though that set them apart from everyone, as the led the league. They gave up an astonishingly low 92.9 PPG.
How does a team build on the success from last season while losing one of the best players in franchise history? You try to replace him.
The key addition for the Spurs this offseason was Pau Gasol. Gasol posted his second lowest scoring season of his career in 2015-16, but had one of his best seasons in both rebounding and assists. He figures to be a huge 3rd option in this offense. It wouldn’t be out of the question for this “new” Big 3 to combine for 60 PPG.
The Spurs open their season tonight against the new look Golden State Warriors.
Malachi David is an NBA contributor at MFST, you can follow him on Twitter: @SportReportMD