Saturday, June 23, 2012

How Can I Help You? San Antonio Spurs

Who wants another title? TIMMY DOES!
For the past few years, it seemed like the Spurs were done. They won four titles, their core was old, and they just didn't strike you as a team that had amuch left. Despite all those notions, and a first round upset to the eight-seeded Memphis Grizzlies last postseason, Gregg Popovich revamped this team and has kept them going. They had the best record in the West and made it to the conference finals. Now with a new season in the future, the question is posed again: can they keep going?

My belief is that they can. The Spurs got younger last year. Sure, Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili are old, but getting production out of players like Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green, and Tiago Splitter will make the transition from old to new go much smoother for San Antonio. They changed their philosophy from defensive to offensive and gave Parker the keys to the team. So the answer to that question is yes.

The window is still small, though. The Spurs need to win now if they want to win another one. We'll start off with their key free agent decisions. First things first: Duncan is resigning. That's non negotiable. They should bring back Green too after his three point breakout this season. Also, look for Patty Mills to be get a new deal, as he could be the team's future point guard after Parker. James Anderson and Boris Diaw are likely out.

With Parker and Mills running the point, the team doesn't need to worry about that position. Ginobili and Green are both beneficial scorers for the Spurs and shooting guard and Gary Neal gets some buckets as well. It looks like the backcourt is set.

Leonard was fantastic as a rookie at small forward and will certainly improve. Stephen Jackson will back him up and can help his growth as a player. The Big Fundamental will stand tall at power forward like he always has, and Splitter will be the one to give him rest. Finally, DeJuan Blair and Matt Bonner are a capable tandem at the center position.

So what is San Antonio looking for? I'd be shocked if they think they can get Duncan's successor with the 59th pick. As they are a bit thin at center, they could use some rebounding down low. Oh, and of course, defense.

The Spurs clearly know how to put on a scoring show as they displayed in the playoffs, but once they went to OKC, they couldn't keep up with the young Thunder. Leonard did all he could, but there is not that much youth or defense on this team. Grabbing a player who has both of those qualities is the way to go.

We're not looking at a specific positon, but rather a type of player. Here are you options:

If the Spurs draft O'Quinn, this will be his reaction.
Syracuse's Kris Joseph has the length that the Spurs would love, but he may be gone at this point in the draft. Andrew Albicy from France is a hard nosed defender, but San Antonio doesn't want to wait for him to come from Europe. Larry Anderson from Long Beach St. is a reach, but was a lockdown defender in the Big West. In the end, I think the team will take a blue chipper from Norfolk St. that became a household name in the NCAA tournament, Kyle O'Quinn.

O'Quinn is a force on the glass, averaging 10.3 rebounds last season. He showed the nation what he could do by bullying Missouri and sending them pack in March Madness. O'Quinn is also a solid post defender and a humble player, one who would relish at the opportunity to play behind Duncan. He is a hard worker that has a similar mold to Duncan, so who knows what will happen with his career is he was a Spur?

With O'Quinn, the team would start Parker, Green, Leonard, Duncan, and Blair, and have Mills, Neal, Ginobili, Jackson, Splitter, Bonner, and the former Spartan himself coming off the bench. That squad looks similar to last year's, which is a good thing, except O'Quinn is infusing them with youth, rebounding, and defense as Diaw is shipped out of town. That's a nice upgrade on a team that doesn't need many improvements.

For my final "How Can I Help You?" article, I will discuss who the Los Angeles Lakers will take with the 60th pick (Mr. Irrelevant), and what they need to do to win Kobe Bryant another championship.

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