Even Without Tim Duncan, Small Ball Still Doesn’t Appeal to San Antonio Spurs

October 12th, 2016 by Mike Monroe Leave a reply »

SAN ANTONIO — In an NBA that seems obsessed with the long ball, the San Antonio Spurs stick out as a throwback to a bygone era.

Tim Duncan may have retired, but his replacement, Pau Gasol, is both taller (7'0") and longer. With LaMarcus Aldridge joining Gasol in the low post, the Spurs are the closest thing the NBA has to an old-school, inside-out offensive attack.

Last season’s leading scorer, small forward Kawhi Leonard, says, "I'm going to have to get to the lane more to make plays for my team this year, more than trying to stay out at the three-point line."

If Aldridge, Gasol and Leonard aren’t the Spurs’ top three scorers, it will mean at least one of them suffered a serious injury.

This is not to suggest head coach Gregg Popovich is mired in the past, though one could hardly blame him if he were. After all, his run to the third-best winning percentage among those who have coached at least 500 NBA games (68.5 percent, trailing only Phil Jackson and Billy Cunningham) began because he was able to pair David Robinson and Tim Duncan in the low post. But he also learn ...

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