Originally posted by dobo:
On a positive note: how amazing is Kawhi Leonard? I was really impressed with his consistent effort, particularly on the defensive end. He's 20 years old. Let that sink in.
Going forward, things will have to change. Manu will become increasingly less effective if he has to play more than 20 minutes or so per game. Duncan is still very good on both ends and plays smart, but his knees and his age have necessitated keeping his weight down. I fear the loss of strength will make it even harder for him to bang down low next season. Their reduced roles in the future will put the Spurs in a tough spot.
That said, there is reason for optimism. Parker is still in his prime; this is his team. Jackson has shown that he can still make plays and bring toughness. (And, hey, RJ is gone.) Diaw did well to integrate so quickly and, despite some shaky playoff performances, seems to fit an Horryish role on the team (at least better than Bonner). Leonard is a beast. I can't say enough how much I like his game and his attitude. I expect big things from him. Finally, Duncan will likely re-sign for something like two years at $12 MM/year, which hopefully brightens the team's financial flexibility somewhat (I'm not much of a cap guy).
- Splitter and Green fit into the "meh" category. Both have shown flashes of giving this team needs exactly what it needs -- interior defense and hustle (Splitter) and versatile perimeter defense and three point shooting (Green) -- but neither stepped up under pressure. I do think both are worth another look, but I wouldn't mind seeing either leave.
- Bonner, Blair, and Neal are too inconsistent and often useless.
- No comment on Mills and Anderson.
Keepers: Parker, Manu, Jackson, Leonard, Diaw, Duncan
Everyone else can go
Totally agree. Kawhi was a great find. He's not afraid of the stage and has a decent shot that can be worked on. This guy should be a key player next year. He has the chance to be a very effective starting SG and defensive specialist.
Tony: this is his team.
Neal just looked out of it. I have a feeling there's something else going on with him. He has always played solid and came through but he just looked different. He gets one more season.
Mills: I have a feeling he's about to take Neal's spot and a little bit of Ginobli's instant offense. Mills could be a surprise next season that keeps the speed of the PG on the court when Parker rests.
SJAX is needed here. We saw what happened with weaker minds in Bonner and RJ the past couple of years. Jackson's mentality is the most value here.
Manu: dude can no longer be relied upon as a game carrier. He needs to shorten his minutes and become instant offense for spurts but not a person who carries the team. Maybe at times finishes games here and there but not after he's played more than 20 minutes.
Splitter: The fact that Splitter improved quite a bit from year 1 to year 2 tells me he can be a keeper and improve once more. Euros usually require a "I actually belong here" feeling to start performing like they really can and stop being timid. I have a feeling he will be much better next year. Having said that, he's still a bench producer but can be a trouble causer for opponents if he improves.
Tim: Tim will resign but I think he needs to gear his offseason to strictly shooting the 10-17 footer so he can hit it with his eyes close and work on his moves to the basket from that spot. Anything he gets from posting up will be considered a plus from this point on.
Diaw is old and will not be able to keep up with championship roster Forwards.
What we need is a true Center that can play above the rim but what NBA team doesn't need that type of player? I hope Spurs front office can find a hidden gem there but a guy like Pau would work soooooooo well with this team.
Bonner and Blair have maximized there abilities and will only look worse from here on (Harbaugh's if you're not getting better, you're getting worse). Such a true statement.
The main thing is that we learned that having a 10 man rotation will only take you so far. Sooner or later, man's 8, 9, and 10 are eventually athletically outmatched vs a championship caliber team that's only going 7 or 8 deep.
I would say Center (if Splitter doesn't improve) and SF are our most urgent needs.