San Antonio Spurs (10-3) vs Raptors (3-10) - Preview

Nov 5, 2012; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs players (from left) Kawhi Leonard, and Gary Neal, and Tony Parker, and Tim Duncan, and Boris Diaw, and Matt Bonner watch from the bench during the second half at the AT

The Raps return home following a disastrous road trip to face the perpetually strong Spurs. This team represents continuity to a degree unparalleled in the modern NBA. Their Coach, Gregg Popovich, has won 4 championships in his 16 years at the helm, piling up a winning percentage of .675. The General Manager, R.C. Buford, has held the job since 2002. Together, they have created a team always in contention, & viewed as the gold standard of how to play the game right. The Spurs choose players who understand the team-first concept; it’s no surprise that many of their strongest contributors were lightly regarded. Is Manu Ginobili the greatest 57th pick in NBA history? [Hint: Yes] Tony Parker was chosen as the 28th pick in 2001; the Raps took Michael Bradley with #16. Who was heading up our scouting at the time, & why hasn’t he been brought up on charges? Of course, whoever it was might have lots of company. Such luminaries as Jeryl Sasser, Joe Forte, & Kirk Haston were selected ahead of Parker, who’s one of the 2 or 3 best Point Guards of the last decade. We can’t complete this paean without mentioning Tim Duncan, widely considered the best Power Forward ever, who’s averaging a double-double in his 16th season as a Spur. San Antonio isn’t short of youthful talent; Kawhi Leonard & DeJuan Blair are consistent, low-maintenance contributors. There’s even a double Canadian connection. Matt Bonner, the Red Rocket, still wants to become a citizen & play for the national team. If that ever happens, he’ll join Cory Joseph, a skinny PG from Pickering, who looks like he’s being groomed as Parker’s successor.

The Spurs have piled up a 6-1 road record, in contrast to the Raps’ pitiful 1-7. While Stephen Jackson and Leonard are out with injuries, this team is more than strong enough to barely notice their absence. San Antonio outscores its opponents by more than 5 PPG, one of the healthiest marks in the league.

Optimism must on occasion be tempered with realism. The Raps are still casting about for a rotation they can rely upon, & until they do, pick the opponent. The Spurs are much too strong & will roll to a 103-92 victory.

Brian Boake is a staff writer for Raptors Rapture. “Like” Raptors Rapture on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @RaptorsRapture for all the latest news and updates about the best damn NBA team from Canada.



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