The San Antonio Spurs may have pulled a fast one on the NBA this offseason. While the world was watching the Kevin Durant and Golden State Warriors saga unfold, the Spurs may have pulled off the biggest signing in free agency.
It started with a dismal playoff performance, then the worry if Tim Duncan would retire or not but the Spurs front office knew, they knew Duncan was done, he didn’t have it in him anymore to go another season. He gave his everything to the Spurs and with the little word; he disappeared making way for the Spurs to pursue Paul Gasol.
Yes, Gasol is now a Spur, but what does that mean?
Pay attention while I break this down for you. The Spurs won 67 games last season with a hobbled and aged Duncan playing in 60 games and only 25 minutes per with averages of 9 points and seven rebounds. Those 67 wins still stand with a team that also featured LaMarcus Aldridge and Kawhi Leonard. So what do the Spurs do to match the Golden State Warriors and their big signing of Kevin Durant?
They upped the ante by swapping Duncan for Gasol.
With the talk focused on the new Big 4 in Golden State and their mighty offense what the Spurs will have on the floor at the same time might be better. The Spurs will throw this out nightly, 21/7, 18/9 and 17/11. Those are the numbers of their newly formed frontcourt. While teams will rely on a perimeter game, the Spurs will do their damage where it matters most, in the paint. If you want to break a team’s spirit feed the ball in the post, force foul trouble and double teams and let the offense flow through the paint The Spurs have Danny Green, Patty Mills, Manu Ginobili and Kevin Martin (hopefully) waiting on the perimeter for the kick out pass which should drive defenses nuts.
As for the reserves, it will hurt to see Boris Diaw and David West go but with the recent signings of David Lee and Dewayne Dedmon they more than made up on the production side. Looking around the league, who can contend with their size and skill set in the post?
Cleveland is not that bad with Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson, and LeBron James, the Pacers with Al Jefferson, Myles Turner and Paul George are good and the Utah Jazz with Rudy Gobert, Derrick Favors and Gordon Hayward but other than that there are no real threats. The Spurs have the best, they may have had the best last season but adding Gasol and Lee, sealed the deal.
Remember 67 wins with Duncan, who didn’t average 10 points per and switch him with Gasol who can get you 20/10 on a bad night. The Spurs were still the best defensive team in the NBA last season and while many knock Gasol for not being tough enough, how can you scoff at his two blocks per last season.
I stand corrected.