Another year, another title window that remains open for the San Antonio Spurs. Coming off a season where they were a few seconds away from an NBA Championship but ended up losing it in seven games against the Miami Heat, many are already writing off the Spurs from making a deep playoff run.
They will put all those doubts aside once the season starts.
Gregg Popovich will actually have a better team at his disposal this season as there were few moves made, but they were very significant ones. The front office re-signed Tiago Splitter to a long-term deal and replaced two valuable bench pieces with players that fill the team’s philosophy better: gone are Gary Neal and DeJuan Blair, who were replaced by Marco Belinelli and Jeff Ayres respectively.
The starting cast is the same, but the core is one year older. Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili know that this could be the last year they can make a serious run at a title, and their minutes will be heavily guarded by the coaching staff because the goal is to have them fit for the playoffs.
Surrounding the core, there are some solid role players like sharpshooter Danny Green, emerging star Kawhi Leonard and Splitter who, together with a nice bench, form one of the deepest rosters in the association.
This year, it seems like the Spurs are a lock to make another deep run at a championship as the Houston Rockets, the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Los Angeles Clippers and maybe the Golden State Warriors are the only teams that could mount a challenge to them. If the Spurs are able to stay healthy throughout the schedule, they could be a dangerous team come playoff time.
After all, no one can really consider the Spurs to not be title contenders. Expect them to be playing their cards in the final months of the season due to their experienced core, solid role players and excellent coaching.