An anonymous NBA scout previews the Spurs for the 2017-16 season.
"Kawhi is great. So you have a top 10, arguably top 5 player. So that never hurts. They'll be pretty successful regardless if they have him ... They still have Popovich coaching, and he still seems to have the desire to do it. ... Pau is probably the starting center. His pick-and-roll defense has been a disaster for years, but they will probably get more out of him on that end than other teams did. But that will be a challenge. Going from Tim Duncan's pick-and-roll defense to Pau, that'll hurt ... Danny Green and Tony Parker in the backcourt, and they still have Patty Mills. Jonathon Simmons is decent off the bench. This is probably the year we see Kyle Anderson emerge as sort of a mutant Boris Diaw off the bench ... They signed David Lee. Yikes. Yikes. ... Dejounte Murray is going to get a one-way ticket to Austin. He'll be well versed in keeping Austin weird after this season. ... Dwayne Dedmon will be pretty solid. I wouldn't be surprised if you see him playing in key situations because he's so much better defensively than Pau. ... Manu's still playing, and I still like him a lot. He just can't do it anymore in the highest intensity moments, against the best athletes. He just physically doesn't have quite enough left ... Tony's still solid, but he's not the playmaker of a good team in the playoffs. He's an above-average starter in the regular season, but he can't be the playmaker in the playoffs ... Aldridge is a good player. He seems like he's a little bit of a different guy. You need to manage his personality, his mindset, his confidence. ... It's clearly Kawhi's team. Kawhi's the best player. They're going to run a lot of stuff for him, and he'll score a lot. Pick-and-rolls, isos, post-ups. Lamarcus just needs to be the number two guy and exploit bad matchups, make pick-and-pops, and space them out with jumpshots. ... It's not unrealistic to think that Lamarcus is past his prime now, that the last three or four years were the best years of his career, and the next 3-4 years are gonna be good, but he's not quite as good as he was. That said, his game will age well. As a jump-shooting big with that height and that length, he'll be good for the Spurs. ... They'll be really good because they'll be well-coached and well-managed, and Kawhi is great. But do I think they're a championship team with Kawhi as their best player and Lamarcus as their second best player? Without someone else emerging, probably not. Definitely not in a league where the Warriors have the best team of all time. You know, that makes it hard. ... I think they'll have a good team, though. They'll win high-50s. But they were secretly a fucking juggernaut last year, and I don't think they'll be quite as good with this group ... No, they don't have a shot against the Warriors, but no one does. Not even close."