NBA Season Wrap Up: San Antonio Spurs
San Antonio Spurs:
You don't need me to tell you that the Spurs were awesome this year. With aging stars and unheralded role players, the Spurs finished second in the West, were 7th in Offensive Rating, 3rd in Defensive Rating and 3rd in defensive rebounding percentage.
When the playoffs rolled around, they squashed the Lakers, deflated the Warriors, and ran all over the Grizzlies, a team that many predicted would beat the Spurs.
Then they gave the team that was supposedly one of the greatest in league history everything they could handle -- actually a lot more than they could handle, at times. A free throw here or a layup there and the post-game 7 conversation is totally different.
But here we are, looking for a way to critique the most unselfish, cohesive and impressive team in the NBA.
The trouble with analyzing the Spurs -- or beauty, depending how you look at it -- is that it doesn't really matter what moves they make. Well, of course it matters, but it's a totally different situation that all 29 teams. If the Knicks or the Thunder acquired a seemingly inconsequential free agent like A.J. Price, for example, the twitterverse wouldn't think twice about the move. If the Spurs make that move, there's a good chance it will turn out to be brilliant and that player will look like a superstar at some point in the future. So there's really no point is trying to identify which direction they should go, because it will always be unpredictable and surprisingly effective.
That being said, the Spurs do have a lot of players coming off the books this summer, so the team will likely experience some turnover this summer and tough decisions will have to be made.
Foremost among them is Manu Ginobili. He didn't have a good year; even before the playoffs things were going poorly. Then the playoffs happened. He's been fighting injuries and struggling to make a significant impact all season and, at age 35, who knows what's left in the tank. But I still think he'll be back and continue to be the first guy off the bench, but they need to add more of a scoring punch to a bench that ultimately couldn't quite keep up.
Besides Ginobili, DeJuan Blair, Tiago Splitter, and T-Mac are also unrestricted free agents. Boris Diaw and Patty Mills have player options and Gary Neal is a restricted free agent. Several of these guys have proven that they deserve a spot on the roster, but who knows, maybe undrafted rookie Aron Baynes will become a superstar in 2014 if playing time opens up, so I have no clue who they should bring back.