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Halestone’s Season Preview

By Stephen Hale on October 29, 2012.

As we near the tip off to this season, I can’t help but be thrilled to watch some basketball.

No one hates baseball more than I do and if it weren’t for fantasy football, I wouldn’t watch that either. The Olympics are cool, I guess, but the level of intensity and drama doesn’t match what comes out of the David Stern Basketball Association.

But more than that, I am rotating to shore duty and this will be the first year in which my duties as a sailor on a forward deployed aircraft carrier won’t overlap with my duties as a Spurs Fan. This will be the first time in three years that I will be home for the holidays and get to watch an entire season of basketball without any interruptions… like deployment.

Nevertheless, my wife, the Lakers fan, would rather I focus on spending our first Christmas together as a married couple or start planning our Valentine’s Day dinner. But I am on to her. It is all a ploy to distract me from this season. She thinks because her team acquired D-12 (a deal she would have never known about if I hadn’t told her), that she wears the pants in this family.

Silly girl.

My first order of business as man of the house was to direct my family to return to the Alamo City for Thanksgiving and ensure that I do my part by buying out the memorabilia stock of every Spurs store within a 20 mile radius of the River Walk. Lakers fan and I later negotiated and have agreed on Thanksgiving dinner and a 2-figure budget for me to spend on gear at one Spurs store of my choice.

I digress.

As my joy increases with each passing day, I can’t help but have reserved expectations for this year. Even with Harden being sent to Houston (in a trade that makes us great beneficiaries), I still have questions. John Hollinger has great visions for us and Pop has a wine-glass-that-never-gets-empty happiness about him, but I’m concerned.

The problem isn’t the regular season, it’s the post season. We run a rotation that plays 11 or 12 guys at times. In the post season, that’s what killed us. OKC was able to keep their youth and best players on the floor for sometimes 44+ minutes per game, while our best players played somewhere between 28 and 33. Our second unit had to play with their top tier guys and frankly couldn’t hang.

Our post season “freshness” and minutes will determine our fate. Can our best players play in a shortened rotation with increased minutes against the other teams best players? That is the big question. Come playoff time, I’d like to see our rotation look something like Parker, Manu, Kawi, Capt Jack, Timmy (gotta love that line up to end the game) with Diaw, Green and either Splitter or Bonner. That’s it — eight players max.

Jack may be one of my favorite Spurs. Dude has even re-tweeted me a few times. But I hope he is ready to play for a contract… with us. More basketball. Less rap. Although, that album is pretty sweet.

Kawhi is about to be a rock star… if mimes were rock stars, that is.

You know what you are going to get out of Tony and Manu. All-Star effort and the need for a oxygen mask…

And how much does James Harden and that rat-infested beard suck in comparison to Duncan, who cut his salary in half? OKC did the right thing by trading him, but they had to. Dude wants “cheddar” more than he wants rings. He ain’t gonna get the cheddar from OKC and he ain’t gonna get a ring with H-Town.

Duncan is my hero. Every year I think I am going to find a new Spur to like more. But I don’t. He goes and does stuff like this and I want to wet myself.

My hope is that we develop our players this year and prep them for the post season. We have more talent and potential this year than we have had in a long time and I don’t even feel horrible about the future. But it is sink-or-swim time for our young bucks. I trust PATFO, but I hope that means he throws our guys in the deep end and they survive. Otherwise, let’s cut that rotation down and squeeze every last ounce of basketball out of those knees of Mr. Duncan.

It is bold, but I wouldn’t have it any other way…

Southwest Division Champs
West Conference Champs
2012-2013 NBA Champs

Go Spurs Go!

Now excuse me, I have to go wash my wife’s Laker gear in bleach. I’m a Sailor. We don’t know how to do laundry.

You can follow Halestone on Twitter at @thehalestone.

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