After three close games, the largest comeback in the Gregg Popovich era, and MVP-caliber performances by Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio is en route to another 50+ win season, thanks largely to starting performances.
Though he’s been back in action for the last few weeks, Pau Gasol continues to provide a spark off the bench as a backup center for Dewayne Dedmon. Additionally, as per true Gregg Popovich style, this Spurs team second unit has had plenty of opportunities to try their hand in a starting role.
The Spurs’ starters look ahead to a highly-anticipated matchup against the Golden State Warriors Saturday night. Over the past week and five wins, excluding last night’s loss to the Thunder, eight different players have started for the silver and black.
LaMarcus Aldridge, who started four of the Spurs’ last five games, averaged 18 points and 9.6 rebounds. On the year, Aldridge averages 17.3 PPG and 7.5 RPG. Aldridge sat out the game against the Kings in which the Spurs managed to overcome a 28-point deficit.
Currently in the midst of a breakout season, Kawhi Leonard led the Spurs to multiple wins over the last week. Averaging, 34 points, 7.6 rebounds, 5.3 assists, and 3.3 steals, Leonard matched up against an MVP candidate this week and performed well. In a game-deciding play against the Rockets, Leonard made a clutch three-pointer to put the Spurs in the lead in the winding seconds, ran back on defense, and blocked MVP hopeful, James Harden, on a layup that would’ve tied the game. On the year, Leonard is averaging 26.3 points.
Dewayne Dedmon, who now seems a regular in the Spurs’ starting lineup, is continuing to do his part as a starter, although his production has dwindled, as evidenced by Paul Garcia’s post. The center averaged only three points and 4.7 rebounds over the last week. For the season, Dedmon averages 5.2 PPG and 6.5 RPG.
Veteran guard, Tony Parker, contributed as consistently as usual with the exception of one big performance against the Houston Rockets. While averaging 10.4 PPG and 4.7 APG this season, Parker averaged 8.6 points, and three assists over the last week and missed one game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Danny Green, similarly played his usual self over the past week. In the big comeback against the Sacramento Kings, Green scored 14 points. Green is averaging 7.5 PPG this year.
David Lee & Jonathon Simmons
David Lee and Jonathon Simmons started in the huge comeback win against the Kings, and both contributed greatly to the outcome. Lee scored 18 points on 8-9 shooting in 31 minutes. Similarly, Simmons went 5-13 for 14 points in 25 minutes.
With the season reaching a most competitive point, starting performances will continue to play a huge role in the success of the Spurs.