3. Gregg Popovich is coaching
This is rather simplistic. But as long as Popovich is handling the Spurs, they will be markedly better than the majority of the league in most coaching facets, especially in-game adjustments and lineup construction.
The presence of Pop allows the Spurs to find tiny advantages that an average coach wouldn’t have found otherwise. Minutes will be distributed evenly, and generally optimally, and the core players will be rested in the correct situations. with the possible exception of Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, no one is able to extract more production from his aged, mostly one-dimensional group of players like Pop.
4. Nando De Colo is, arguably, the team’s 13th or 14th best player
The 25-year-old French rookie has made waves during the Spurs’ exhibition slate, although things have cooled a bit. In a similar vein to Ginobili, De Colo is creative and talented enough to make every conceivable pass, including some that are inconceivable.
As such, De Colo would likely be a valuable rotation asset on most teams. On the Spurs, however, he will be tied to the bench. This is a testament to the amount of depth the Spurs have, which is always a good thing, even though it didn’t necessarily work last season.
5. Defensively, the Spurs are competent
Competent doesn’t instill much confidence, admittedly. San Antonio’s defense graded as an above-average unit last season, finishing 10th in defensive efficiency. In minutes with Duncan on the floor, the defense allowed a mere 97.6 points per 100 possessions, an efficiency that would have ranked atop the league.
If the Spurs can sustain last season’s production, they should be fine. Despite lacking athleticism, San Antonio rarely committed fouls while also preventing attempts at the rim. Popovich’s team also excels on the defensive glass, grabbing 76 percent of the opponent’s misses to limit the amount of extra possessions. Historically, an elite offense and decent defense – especially one that avoids mistskes – can win a title. The Spurs happen to have both.
Quixem Ramirez is the lead editor for Air Alamo, a Fansided Network blog covering the San Antonio Spurs since February of 2012. He also can be found at Fansided.com writing about the entire NBA. You can follow him on Twitter @AirAlamo
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