- Created on Sunday, 21 October 2012 14:28
- Last Updated on Thursday, 16 May 2013 07:51
- Written by David Rountree
The San Antonio Spurs are arguably the deepest team in the league, but for them to get back to the NBA Finals they will need for the younger players to contribute more. Coach Gregg Popovich will once again have his hands full trying to balance out a rotation, the competition for minutes will be intense.
Some players on the roster are overdue for a breakout season, while others are on track to surprise the league.
3) Tiago Splitter
- Most experts and fans are surprised that the seven-footer isn’t starting beside Tim Duncan, but Splitter’s learning curve has been a bit slower than expected. He has shown flashes of effectiveness in the pick-n-roll but consistency in the Spurs’ offense has been non-existent.
- On the bright side, Splitter is coming into this season healthy and more familiar with the Spurs’ system. He has the skill-set to be a solid rebounder and to help the Spurs raise their blocks per game.
2) Patty Mills
- Mills definitely turned some heads in the Olympics with his heroic performance for the Australian National team. His last second buzzer beater stunned the favored Russia and was one of the highlights of the 2012 games.
- Mills now will play in one of the hardest systems to learn in the league, but he has the tools to be successful in it. He is a great ball handler with speed and is an excellent shooter from long range. He was with the team at the tail-end of last season, so don’t be surprised to see him contribute almost immediately this season.
1) Kawhi Leonard
- He is the most athletic player on the team and seems to have all-star level potential on both sides of the floor. Throughout his rookie season he improved on his long range jumper and even started making powerful drives to the basket.
- Popovich has already said Leonard will be more involved in the offense and he expects him to be ready to handle the challenge. Good Ball-handling and shot selection will be the keys to Leonard’s evolution. His growth is vital to the Spurs’ championship hopes.