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</a><br/>It's been a busy summer for the <a href="http://www.nba.com/spurs">Spurs</a>, with key additions like <strong>Richard Jefferson, Antonio McDyess, DeJuan Blair, Theo Ratliff and Marcus Haislip</strong> it's almost like a 'new team', there is no doubt that the talent level on this team has been upgraded, probably more than ever before.<br/><br/>But even if it's certain that this translates to a better season, the expectation in San Antonio is to compete for the championship.<span class="fullpost"> <strong>Jeff McDonald</strong> of the Express-News writes <a href="http://www.mysanantonio.com/sports/Popovich_ready_to_play_with_new_toys.html">this piece</a> about Coach Pop getting anxious about the upcoming season. And who wouldn't?<br/><br/><br/>Let's take a look at the new acquisitions and what they can bring to the table...<ul><li><a href="http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/profile?playerId=1006">Richard Jefferson</a>, could serve as another offensive threat, he has an <strong>explosive drive to the basket</strong> that makes him earn more trips to the line. He is a good free throw shooter, can shoot the 3 consistently (close to 40% last season) and fills in the small forward position for a team that was lacking depth at the three spot. He also needs to prove that he is a descent defender (if not a good one), because the team gave up <strong>Bruce Bowen</strong> to bring him in. </li><br/><br/><li><a href="http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/profile?playerId=530">Antonio McDyess</a>, He has a consistent jumper and <strong>plays hard defense which is perfect </strong>for the Spurs style of play (could we call him, San Antonio McDyess?...) Despite his lack of size, he has decent strength and athleticism and is also a fundamental, box-'em-out guy so he could provide rebounds. Some could argue that he might be too old but he manage to average almost 10 and 10 last season.</li><br/><br/><li><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DeJuan_Blair">DeJuan Blair</a>, is a blessing (I mean 29 teams past on this guy!). And although he is undersized at 6'7", <strong>he is one of the best rebounders at the college ranks last year</strong> averaging nearly 12 per game, and almost half of it are offensive boards, which is always an advantage. And yes he has freakish wingspan (7'2"-7'4" I think?) with big hands, and is a "Space Eater". </li><br/><br/><li><a href="http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/profile?playerId=687">Theo Ratliff</a>, is an <strong>outstanding shot blocker who gets off the floor quickly</strong> and with great timing to send back opponent releases. But does not do as well on the boards, partly because he struggles to establish position underneath. Offensively, he can hit a 15-footer from the free-throw area and will finish off feeds from teammates. He could only be used sparringly (because of age and previous injuries) and can be good mentor to <a href="http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/profile?playerId=2774">Ian Mahinmi</a>.<br/><br/></li><li><a href="http://www.sportsnet.ca/basketball/nba/players/Marcus_Haislip">Marcus Haislip</a>, I think the Spurs took him mainly for his <strong>athleticism, he is a hard worker and impresses coaches with his hustle</strong>. He also has good range for a player his size and like Blair, has a chip on his shoulder. If he can be what I think he is, he could be a descent defender guarding the likes of Nowitzki, Lewis and Odom something that we lacked last season.<br/></li></ul><p>All this new players bring <strong>different dimension</strong> to the Spurs game and with a healthy BIG three and an even deeper bench that includes <strong>Hill, Mason, Finley</strong>, <strong>Bonner</strong> and maybe even <strong>Hairston, Mahinmi</strong> and <strong>Williams</strong>, the Spurs championship success for this coming season seems to be within grasps but as <strong>Timothy Varner</strong> puts it <a href="http://www.48minutesofhell.com/2009/07/30/a-note-of-caution-work-to-be-done/">there is more work to be done</a>... </p><p>And the man in-charge? <a href="http://www.nba.com/coachfile/gregg_popovich/">Gregg Popovich</a>, he knows more than anybody that this upcoming season could be the <strong>biggest challenge for him and the Spurs</strong>. Expectations are high, he even said that "<strong>We better damn win it!</strong> or I should probably be fired". He knows they've gotten better but he certainly knows <strong>success is not instant</strong> and for that, with still more than a month before training camp... He can't wait for the season to start, <strong>he is getting ready</strong>...</p></span><div class="blogger-post-footer">
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It's been a busy summer for the Spurs, with key additions like Richard Jefferson, Antonio McDyess, DeJuan Blair, Theo Ratliff and Marcus Haislip it's almost like a 'new team', there is no doubt that the talent level on this team has been upgraded, probably more than ever before.But even if it's certain that this translates to a better season, the expectation in San Antonio is to compete for the championship. Jeff McDonald of the Express-News writes this piece about Coach Pop getting anxious about the upcoming season. And who wouldn't?Let's take a look at the new acquisitions and what they can bring to the table...Richard Jefferson, could serve as another offensive threat, he has an explosive drive to the basket that makes him earn more trips to the line. He is a good free throw...