The Spurs are set for a season of serious transition. They desperately need a healthy Dejounte Murray if all that change is going to equal success.
Losing players like Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green, Manu Ginobili and Kyle Anderson make it clear this is going to be a year of transition for the Spurs. In order to stay in the playoff mix in the Western Conference, San Antonio needs a big year from Dejounte Murray.
Unfortunately, the talented young point guard exited Sunday’s preseason game against the Rockets with an apparent knee injury. The organization is concerned enough Murray to schedule an MRI for him on Monday. The Spurs cannot afford to get bad news in regards to his injury. It is worth noting that Murray did exit the floor under his own power.
If the athletic point guard is forced to miss serious time, the Spurs will have to go with Patty Mills as their starting point guard. That would represent a serious downgrade for Gregg Popovich and company. It’s dangerous to bet against San Antonio, but losing Murray would likely push the Spurs from the Playoffs into the lottery.
The former Washington point guard is the one player the organization believes can take the leap from rotation player to potential stardom. There’s no question about his athleticism, but reports from the summer claim his jump shot might be improving enough to make him a threat from three-point range. If he adds a quality perimeter shot to his game he’ll be really hard to stop on the offensive end of the floor.
Murray is already one of the best perimeter defenders in the NBA. His combination of length and athleticism allow him to switch and guard multiple positions. He’s the sort of point guard who can stay in front of the quickest lead guards in the league and also hold his own against talented power forwards. That gives the Spurs a ton of defensive versatility.
The simple truth is that losing a superstar like Leonard drastically reduces the Spurs’ margin for error this season. If Murray is out of the lineup for a long time they’ll really struggle to play .500 basketball in his absence. The entire organization will be on pins and needles until his MRI results come in.