What's up Spurs fans. It's RJ with a new edition of the KSAT.com Spurs newsletter.
The season tips off Wednesday against the Knicks, and that guy Marcus Morris, who reneged on his deal with San Antonio this summer. My guess is he is booed by AT&T Center fans.
The Spurs open with three home games. It's a nice early season slate, so it's imperative the Spurs take care of business at home.
Dejounte Murray also got paid this week. The Spurs believe he's primed for a big year and proved it with an extension.
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LET'S CHECK OUT SOME TOP HEADLINES:
Dejounte Murray signs a 4-year extension with the Spurs. DJ is here to stay
Season preview: Will mix of youth, veterans carry Spurs to playoffs in star-studded West?
12 of the biggest games for Spurs 2019-2020 season
ROUND BALL ROUNDTABLE: What Spurs player are you most interested in seeing early in the season?
Of course, I’m looking forward to the return of Dejounte Murray with his new 4-year, $64 million contract extension. But as far as new players, it's Trey Lyles. Patty Mills called the 6-foot-10 power forward the biggest surprise in training camp. Also, how Lyles has quickly caught onto the Spurs system. The former 2015 first-round pick by Utah says he has grown up a lot since suiting up for the Jazz and Nuggets. Especially since he’s the Spurs' replacement for Marcus Morris, who reneged on his agreement to play for the Spurs only to sign with the Knicks, who just happens to be the Spurs season opening opponent.
Dejounte Murray. Last season, his third in the NBA, many expected Murray to break out, but he suffered a torn ACL in the preseason and those expectations went up in smoke. His long road to recovery is over and the Spurs need him to excel for sure. He’s got the skills, length, and athleticism to dominate on both ends of the court.
I think most Spur fans are excited to see Dejounte Murray. I am really looking forward to watching him after he missed last season. Also, I want to see how Derrick White handles what could be a new role coming off the bench. But I am really looking forward to seeing DeMar DeRozan in a Spurs uniform for his second season. He started out fast last year then kind of leveled off a bit. We have come to learn it usually takes a season or two to adapt to coach Popovich's system. Plus he will be looking to expand his game with more shots from beyond the arc. Once again, he will be huge in getting the Spurs where they want to go.
No doubt it's Dejounte for me with Lonnie Walker a close second. If Dejounte is as good as many seem to believe, then the Spurs can make a legit push this season. He also plays with a chip on his shoulder and has the type of mentality the Spurs will need to compete game in-and-out. I expect the Spurs to limit some of his minutes to start, and then he'll hit his full stride around Christmas.
POWER RANKINGS PULSE, VEGAS PREDICTIONS (Haters gonna hate):
ESPN.com: 15th in NBA, down three spots, 43-win projection
CBS Sports: 10th in NBA, no movement from last week
The Ringer: 14th in NBA, calls Spurs a good team that's not good enough
Las Vegas over/under right now for Spurs is 46.5, higher than last week
NBA.com: 12th in NBA, dropped from 11th last week
PLAYER SOUND OF WEEK: Greg Simmons goes 1-on-1 with Spurs stalwart guard Patty Mills
SPURS SCHEDULE LOOK AHEAD:
Oct. 23: vs New York Knicks
Oct. 26: vs Washington Wizards
Oct. 28: vs Portland Trail Blazers
Oct. 31: at LA Clippers
KEY GAME/MATCHUP OF WEEK:
Davis Bertans returns to San Antonio on Saturday as a member of the Wizards. It's a shame the way things went down with Davis and no blame of his own. He'll get a nice response from the fans. We also have a Halloween showdown versus Kawhi Leonard and the Clippers. This will be our first look at the ex-Spur with yet another new team.
OFF COURT STORY OF WEEK:
Spurs announce Coyote Kids Club that comes with free swag, exclusive access for members
The most interesting Spur, or former Spurs player, in the world is Manu Ginobili with Boris Diaw a close second. What has Manu been up to? He going to be featured again in the H-E-B commercials, and his old Big 3 running mates, Tony Parker and Tim Duncan, were also part of the shoot. Manu. Forever.