On Wednesday, the Spurs will begin their regular season against the Indiana Pacers.
After being swept by the Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference semifinals last year, and after a 4-3 record in this year’s preseason, questions begin to rise about the inconsistency in the team’s performance.
Coach Popovich has been the head coach of the Spurs since 1996.
He has received four titles with the Spurs—the franchise's only four titles.
He is the key to their success.
However, with injuries, age and rumors amidst, will he put the future of the team at risk by keeping his star players on the court? Or will he allow the younger generation to take control of the game?
Can Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker stay healthy and off the bench?
Tony Parker injured his hand last season. Over the summer, while playing for France, he injured his thigh.
Manu Ginobili sat out for two months after surgery was required for an ankle injury last season.
Tim Duncan didn’t endure any injuries, but he is one of the oldest guys on the team and he could easily begin to lose court time.
Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan started for the Spurs against Houston, but none of their ``Big Three'' played more than 17 minutes. Parker scored 10 points, Duncan grabbed seven rebounds and Ginobili had five assists.
Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili had 17 points each for the Spurs. Tim Duncan played only 12 minutes and scored 10 points. Parker scored eight of San Antonio's final 22 points in the first half as San Antonio took a 10-point lead.
Ginobili finished five of seven from three-point range, hitting a three at the first-half buzzer to give San Antonio its biggest lead of the game, 61-51.
With their experience and big numbers, these guys serve as leaders. Will their age and health begin to play bigger factors in the teams success?
Jefferson doesn't need a lesson on how to score. His recent history shows that.
Three seasons ago, he averaged 22.6 points, ninth-best in the league. The following season he made a career-best with 116 three-pointers.
No one complained about Jefferson’s body last season. But, he still lost some body fat, toned up and got stronger over the summer, while returning to the fundamentals of the game.
From shooting, driving, cutting to the basket, and defense—Jefferson re-learned them all.
He was already rising to the top in leadership, but will his determination and practice give him the push he needs to be the big star?
In the preseason opener against the Houston Rockets, DeJuan Blair led the Spurs with 12 points.
After a game against the Los Angeles Clippers, DeJuan Blair led San Antonio with 21 points.
In their loss against the Cleveland Cavaliers, DeJuan Blair had nine points and 11 rebounds.
Granted, Blair isn’t listed as a starter. But he is a key replacement to the team and its future, as he is one of the younger ones.
Will DeJuan Blair begin to see the court time that he obviously deserves after a dominating preseason?
He receives just as much court time as the big three of the Spurs. He is fourth in points per game with an average of 13.4.
He is also sixth in average rebounds per game with 3.1.
After being forced into action due to Tony Parker's injuries last season, the second-year guard made a name for himself with 15.3 points, 3.6 assists, 0.8 steals and 1.1 three-pointers in 43 starts.
Rumors that Parker may be headed elsewhere after his contract expires at the end of the season have many speculating that Hill is the point guard of the future in San Antonio.
He'll stay on the bench as long as Parker is healthy. But he's shown that he could have some usefulness in deeper fantasy leagues, even if he's just a sixth man on the team.
Can George Hill fill Parker’s shoes?
Tiago Splitter has yet to make his debut as a Spur.
The Brazilian center has been sidelined with a sprained right-plantaris muscle since the beginning of training camp.
Hampered with injuries all last season, San Antonio is running out of chances to win a title in the Duncan-era and they haven't hoisted the trophy since 2007.
The Spurs are trying to find more prominent roles for their younger players like George Hill, DeJuan Blair and rookie Tiago Splitter.
Can Splitter live up to the hype and become the leader of San Antonio's next generation?
Recently the San Antonio Spurs traded Curtis Jerrells to the New Orleans Hornets in exchange for a conditional second-round draft pick.
Jerrells was signed by the Spurs on March 24, 2010, but did not see any action during the regular season or playoffs.
During the 2010 preseason he appeared in five games with the Spurs, averaging 6.4 points, 2.2 assists and 1.4 rebounds in 15.8 minutes.
Jerrells also played on the Spurs' 2010 summer-league team in Las Vegas, averaging 10.8 points, 4.4 assists and 2.4 rebounds in 26.8 minutes over five games.
During the 2009-10 season, Jerrells started all 50 games for the Austin Toros of the NBA Development League, averaging 20.7 points, 4.5 rebounds, 5.7 assists and 1.86 steals in 40.2 minutes.
If Jerrells was given the chance with the Spurs, could he have produced big numbers as he did with the Toros?
It’s hard to make that assumption with just the preseason stats.
However, with those stats alone, the Spurs were in a four-way tie for fourth place in the Western Conference with a record of 4-3.
The teams they were tied with were Houston, Denver, and Oklahoma City—they lost to Houston and Oklahoma City at least once in their preseason.
They were ranked above the Los Angeles Lakers (3-4) and Phoenix Suns (2-5)—yes, the two teams that beat the Spurs and competed in the Western Conference Finals.
So, can the Spurs be a threat and make the playoffs? Or will their inconsistency overshadow their success?