Just this past Sunday, Spurs starting point guard, Dejounte Murray, suffered a season-ending, ACL tear. Murray was aggressively pushing the ball into the half court, trying to take advantage of a disorganized Rockets defense, until he ran into brick wall, James Harden, just feet from the basket. It was a split second occurrence that stopped the hearts of all the Spurs faithful. Murray’s freakishly long stride, at such close proximity to the rim, caused this because of the lack of stability that is associated with an excessively wide base. At a meager 170 pounds, Murray was no match for the 220 Harden, even more so in a comprised, non-athletic position.
The timeline for Murray’s return isn’t crystal clear, but the general timeframe for an ACL tear is anywhere from 9-11months, according to Dr. Selene Parekh. We’ve seen other long, slim-framed point guards like Shaun Livingston and Lonzo Ball sustain these different types of knee injuries. A greater amount of precaution may very well be taken due his unique body composition. The commonality of Livingston’s and Murray’s ACL tears were that both were attacking the rim while striding out aggresively. Sometimes, the bigger they are, the harder they fall.
Ever since the departures of Kawhi Leonard, Tony Parker, Danny Green, Kyle Anderson and the retirement of the Manu Ginobili, there have been drastically lowered expectations for the Spurs. There may have not been a team in the NBA that experienced less roster turn around each year before those veterans departed. Head coach Gregg Poppovich likes nothing more than cerebral, selfless ball players that can thrive in his efficient system for years.
Unfortunately, even more skepticism has filled the room when talking about the Spurs potential success for this year with the recent injury news to rookie, Lonnie Walker IV. The high flying Spur has shown flashes throughout summer league and pre season. Fortunately, his meniscus tear should only keep him out 4-6 weeks. With a depleted backcourt, the Spurs are going to have to rely heavily on LaMarcus Aldridge and Demar DeRozan to score and find open opportunities for role players. The Spurs are lucky enough to re-hand the reigns back over to veteran point guard, Patty Mills. Mills has shown the ability in the past of setting up and running an offense. Another important variable for the Spurs success is Brynn Forbes. Forbes has shown the ability in the past few seasons to make shots consistently and create off the dribble for his teammates. He will need to bring more to the table than he has ever in his young career.