NBA champions Spurs all set for title defence

The champions are keyed up to defend their title
New York: Four-and-a-half months after their runaway victory over Miami Heat, NBA champions San Antonio Spurs are raring to go for another shot at the title in what promises to be an exciting season ahead.Having frozen the Heat with their speed and alacrity and in the process forcing LeBron James to end his association with the Heats and move over to his home base Cleveland Cavaliers the dominant Spurs led by the indefatigable coach in Gregg Popovich are keyed up for the grueling season.
Popovich, the long-standing coach of the Spurs, now at an astonishing 20th year at the helm, knows it’s easier said than done; the franchise has never repeated its success before but given that the explosive talent in Kawhi Leonard, the 23-year-old, who turned into a star and was adjudged NBA Finals MVP against the Heats, coupled with the trusted triumvirate in Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker are around to power them, the Spurs know they can. At the very least, they will give it their best shot.
Popovich’s biggest concern is to up the motivation of his players after the stupendous season. “I’m worried for one reason, they are human beings. They are going to feel satisfied,” Popovich was reported as saying to the San Antonio-Express News.The Spurs begin their season hosting Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday as they embark on a near eight-month run to the NBA playoffs in April before the Finals in June.
The Spurs went one step ahead of the rest and made history by hiring Becky Hammon as their first full-time female assistant coach. Hammon, a guard for the WNBA’s Stars, joined the Spurs’ coaching staff upon her retirement at the conclusion of the 2014 WNBA season.Elsewhere, in another significant move, the Charlotte Bobcats were renamed Charlotte Hornets back in May but will look to retain the tenacity and determination that the Bobcats have showed over the last ten years.
If the Spurs are the front-runners for the Western Conference, the East will be spearheaded by the Chicago Bulls and New York Knicks, who go into the first double header on Wednesday.
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