Mike D’Antoni warns against underestimating the Spurs
With the formidable core comprised of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili gone, plus Kawhi Leonard being traded, critics believe that the San Antonio Spurs’ winning ways are now over. But Houston Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni spoke out against people who are underestimating the Spurs.
After their preseason win against the Spurs, D’Antoni warned critics who believe that the Spurs are over and done with. As reported by Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle, D’Antoni pointed out that the Spurs still have elite players in DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge. He also singled out the Spurs’ young guard and a couple of veterans:
“I think you underestimate them at your peril,” Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said. “I don’t think you should do that. They traded one All-Star (Kawhi Leonard) for another All-Star (DeMar DeRozan). You have two All-Stars in Aldridge and DeRozan. You do have a young point guard (Dejounte Murray), but he got a lot of experience last year. (Pau) Gasol comes in and Rudy Gay.”
He even predicted that the Spurs might end up somewhere between the fourth and sixth place in the tough Western Conference. D’Antoni joked that San Antonio might reach as high as second place, but only behind the Rockets.
“People forget. They’re good. Now, where they fit in the West, who knows where anybody fits. It will be super competitive. It wouldn’t surprise me if they’re top four. It wouldn’t surprise me if they’re five. Or if their sixth. Better not be first or second, maybe second if we’re first.”
While D’Antoni has a valid point, there’s no denying that the Spurs will have an uphill climb in a tough Western Conference, unlike his Rockets who are primed as one of the few legit threats to the Golden State Warriors’ reign.
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