The last time we heard Jeff Van Gundy announcing a basketball game, it was on National television as the Dallas Mavericks had defeated the Miami Heat in six games in the NBA Finals.
Though I doubt many San Antonio Spurs’ fans tuned in to witness the Mavs win a title but I digress.
Van Gundy was recently on a radio interview in Phoenix were he used a familiar coach to Spurs fans that defeated him in the last NBA lockout in the Finals as a reference when asked how he sees the season playing out after a long lockout.
“Well I think just like we saw in 1999, I think initially you’re gonna see a product that is not what you’re accustomed to seeing. I think Greg Popovich with the Spurs always says this with his team, you can’t skip steps in your preparation for a game or within a game and it’s the same thing now.
What we’re basically asking players to do is skip steps and still be good because most every team now uses the summer extensively and then in September they use that month as a pre-training camp and the month of October is 28 days of practice and eight preseason games.”
Van Gundy goes on to say the teams that will have the advantage early are teams with continuity in both their coaches and core players. The Spurs are one of those teams as they have 12 players returning from last season along with the same coaching staff while adding just two rookies in Kawhi Leonard and Cory Joseph.
Though chemistry and continuity may be missing at the start of the NBA season, but for San Antonio, it should matter how they finish and not how they start. Spurs fans should remember that lesson from last season as the Spurs were hot during the regular season only to fall in the first-round to the Memphis Grizzlies.