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NBA Preview: Depleted Spurs Test Shaky Timberwolves Core


PhilBoxing.com


Boracay Island, Philippines – The Spurs will not only open the season for the first time without any of the legendary big three of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili on the roster, but will also be without three young guards Dejounte Murray, Lonnie Walker IV, and Derrick White due to injuries. Starting point guard Murray is expected to miss the entirety of the 2018-2019 NBA season after sustaining an ACL injury during a preseason game. White, who was poised to take on the cudgels when Murray went down, will also miss at least a couple of weeks after suffering from a torn ligament in his right heel. Promising rookie Walker IV is also nursing a torn meniscus in his right knee that will keep him away for a few weeks.

The Timberwolves, on the other hand, will still have their team intact, though there’s no telling whether or not disgruntled guard Jimmy Butler can hold his emotions in check, especially when the going gets tough. Butler has openly expressed his desire to be traded from Minnesota over the offseason, but the Wolves front office has, however, failed in granting him that wish.


Patty Mills and Bryn Forbes, both shooting guards in a point guard’s body, will be forced to handle point guard chores for Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich. DeMar DeRozan and the returning Marco Belinelli are expected to take on much of the playmaking role for the Silver and Black.

Minnesota’s Jeff Teague, alongside former league MVP Derrick Rose and Tyus Jones should give Mills and Forbes fits on the defensive end. But make no mistake about it, Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau will have his hands full trying to contain emotions, as well as taking care of his wards’ fragile, if not already broken, chemistry.

All Star Karl-Anthony Towns, fresh from signing a 5-year $190M supermax contract extension, will take on the Spurs’ premiere slotman and fellow All Star LaMarcus Aldrige down low. Towns will have Taj Gibson, Gorgui Dieng, Luol Deng, and Anthony Tolliver as supporting cast, while Aldridge also has Pau Gasol, Jakob Poeltl, and Davis Bertans as able backups.

The wing matchup will be pretty interesting. Jimmy Butler and Andrew Wiggins will face DeMar DeRozan and Rudy Gay. The former tandem will probably have an advantage on the defensive end, while the latter duo may be better in offensive efficiency.

The NBA is finally back and along with it comes much anticipation and intrigue that makes for good basketball and even better entertainment.

Comments are highly appreciated. You may send them to reylanloberternos@yahoo.com.ph and you may follow me on twitter @reylan_l


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Reylan Loberternos.


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