|2009-10 Team Rating|
|9th Overall||9th Overall|
2009-10 Season Stats
Just when Tim Duncan is showing signs of slowing down, along comes Tiago Splitter, the best player in Europe, to rebound, defend and make the frontline solid again.
Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker are healthy again. George Hill is gaining confidence and can play both spots. Rookie James Anderson could be the outside shooter they need.
The addition of Splitter should help the Spurs recover the prowess and swagger that has defined their best teams. He's an aggressive defender who'll help Duncan protect the basket.
If Splitter eventually starts, that gives the Spurs a solid backup frontline of Antonio McDyess, DeJuan Blair and Matt Bonner. George Hill and James Anderson make for strong backcourt.
When he hangs up his whistle, Gregg Popovich could be the world's grumpiest comedian. Now he's at the top of his game and can draw up plays that twist you in knots.
For most of last season, it looked like the cracks were finally starting to show in the Spurs' empire as they struggled to find a rhythm on offense, on defense, in any part of their game. They suffered costly and inexcusable losses at home as Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili struggled with physical problems and Richard Jefferson labored badly to find his place in the lineup. Sometimes he tried too hard and sometimes not hard enough.
But it all came together over the last month of the season and then the No. 7-seeded Spurs knocked off the No. 2-seeded Mavericks in the playoffs and there was hope again. Things took a giant leap forward when Tiago Splitter finally made the jump to the NBA. He's the kind of aggressive interior presence who can put the teeth back in the San Antonio defense. Jefferson opted out, and then reworked his contract to be more palatable and the pick of James Anderson in the first round could be a bold stroke. Don't expect two down years in a row from the Spurs.
-- Fran Blinebury
Explanation of Marking System
|Golden State Warriors||D+|
|Los Angeles Clippers||C|
|Los Angeles Lakers||A|
|New Jersey Nets||B|
|New Orleans Hornets||C|
|New York Knicks||B|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||A|
|Portland Trail Blazers||B|
|San Antonio Spurs||B+|