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ENEMY LINES an opposing team's scout sizes up the Spurs
Jack McCallum
October 27, 2003
They're the defending champions, but they're not the same without David Robinson, Stephen Jackson, Speedy Claxton and Steve Kerr. The Spurs can still win the West, but so can three or four other teams....
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October 27, 2003

Enemy Lines An Opposing Team's Scout Sizes Up The Spurs

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They're the defending champions, but they're not the same without David Robinson, Stephen Jackson, Speedy Claxton and Steve Kerr. The Spurs can still win the West, but so can three or four other teams....

You won't know how good their new players are until they prove themselves in the pressure of the playoffs. Hedo Turkoglu was beaten out of spot in the Kings' rotation last year by Jimmy Jackson. Can Turkoglu and Ron Mercer do the kinds of things off the bench that we saw from Manu Ginobili and Kerr?....

The one guy who deserves the benefit of the doubt is 33-year-old Robert Horry. While it looked as if his offensive game deteriorated with the Lakers, that may have been because they asked him to play almost 30 minutes per game last year. This is a guy with five ringsā€”he'll get a role that will make use of his defense and rebounding, his big-play capability and his outside shooting, which will help stretch defenses for Tim Duncan....

When Duncan was a rookie, his weakness was passing out of the double teams, but now his passing is so strong that the Spurs' offense is built around him picking defenses apart....

Jackson will be replaced in the starting lineup by Ginobili, who is an improvement in every area. Not only is Ginobili a better ball handler and decision maker, but he's also a clutch defender who makes steals and hustle plays all over the floor....

The confidence of winning a title should help Tony Parker flourish as a leader, even at 21. He'll always be able to draw on the fact that he bounced back from those tough early-round games against Stephon Marbury....

The biggest question is why San Antonio signed Parker's new backup, Anthony Carter, who's a dubious decision maker and a career 38 percent shooter. I don't see how a guy who can't hit open jumpers will survive in this offense.

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