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San Antonio Spurs: 3 players under pressure to perform in 2019-20

San Antonio Spurs

(Photo by Edward A. Ornelas/Getty Images)

With its most new players on an opening day roster since 1992-93, the San Antonio Spurs will be facing a new type of challenge if it hopes to make the postseason for a 23rd consecutive year. Which players are under the most pressure to produce?

Long gone are the days where the San Antonio Spurs entered seasons under the famed “championship-or-bust” mentality. The organization has now gone two consecutive seasons without advancing past the first round, which means the steps towards returning will require more work.

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This season, the Spurs are entering the season with a younger, more ragtag bunch than usual. Even its marquee stars can still be seen as “projects,” in a sense that there’s something more they can offer to help accelerate the process.

Nonetheless, this is a Spurs team with far too much talent and now personnel to not be thinking about what must be done in order to at least find themselves among the top four teams in the revamped Western Conference.

Every player, from top-to-bottom, will have something to prove. Be it the team’s star, LaMarcus Aldridge, hoping to continue setting the trend of consistency (and re-scale the trajectory of his career with an improved 3-point shot), or even seldom-used Chimezie Metu, hoping to crack the rotation. The best teams have always come in with the mantra that every player went home for the summer, and got better, and the Spurs figure to be no different.

For some, though, there’s a bit of an extra dynamic: the battle for a contract. The battle for playing time. The battle for respect around the league. The battle to stay in the league. Somewhere, within this depth chart, is a Spur fighting for one or of the other.

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As an old adage once stated, competition breeds excellence. For Spurs fans, the hope is that this saying holds true. With that, here are three players that figure to be preparing for make-or-break seasons in 2019-20, for one of the aforementioned reasons, if not all three at the same time.

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