Saturday night the San Antonio Spurs hosted the Philadelphia 76ers in an extraordinarily nondescript game. Kawhi Leonard and Manu Ginobili sat out but the Spurs won 92-83. It wasn’t a classic but I was fortunate enough to attend the contest and came away with these five thoughts.
2. The patience of Brett Brown is truly amazing. To be the head coach of this franchise while they embark on a multi-year rebuild has to be frustrating, yet his energy never seems to waver. Philly really does play hard and the principles on defense are there, if not the talent.
3. In all honesty the lack of talent is pretty glaring. Nerlens Noel and Jahlil Okafor have star ability already, the former on defense, and the latter on offense. If you could somehow combine the two it would be the next Hakeem Olajuwon. I like that they are different enough to be able to play together but they seem to be at their best when they are the lone big man on the floor.
4. The Spurs still need to sort out their big man rotation. LaMarcus Aldridge and Tim Duncan look fine together and so do Boris Diaw and David West. Those combos just don’t seem optimal, though. Maybe any other combo won’t work but it’s early in the season so maybe it’s time to try some stuff.
5. Speaking of rotations, Brown did some interesting stuff with his Saturday night. He played guys in 3-4 minute spurts and kept fresh legs coming off the bench. It almost was like a college style rotation. I guess that makes sense since most of his team should probably still be in college.