ESPN Summer Forecast has Spurs third in West
With more than two months still remaining until the start of the 2013-14 NBA season, weíll have plenty of time down the road to start analyzing and assessing the Spurs and their competition in earnest.
Until then, hereís a little sneak peak, with the continuation of an annual Association tradition: The potential underestimation of the Spurs.
Despite having coming within seconds of winning last yearís championship ó donít think Iím not already tired of typing that passage ó a panel consisting of 215 people who participate in ESPNís NBA coverage picked the Spurs to finish third in the Western Conference, behind Oklahoma City and the Los Angeles Clippers.
As it has been for the past few years, itís difficult to peg the Spurs. The bottom HAS to start dropping out at some point, what with Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and, in the very near future, Tony Parker succumbing to age. But after winning 58 games despite having their preferred starters ó Duncan, Parker, Danny Green, Tiago Splitter and Kawhi Leonard ó together for just 31 games, it can be argued that they might be better this season.
That isnít the opinion of ESPNís panel, nor was it the conclusion reached at NBAcouchside.com, where the Spurs are pegged as a 55-win team Ė behind Oklahoma City, the Clippers and Houston ó based on a variety of statistical projections.
Like the Spurs, all those teams face questions/issues. The Thunder lost their third-leading scorer, Kevin Martin. The Clippers and Rockets appeared to improve, but will still need to acclimate their new pieces into the whole ó a task that, as we learned with the Lakers last season, isnít always a foregone conclusion.
In Houstonís case, is the addition of Dwight Howard, even at his peak, enough to foster the 17-win improvement projected by Couchsideís formula? If so, pencil him in for his first MVP award.
But, as the Spurs showed last year, reaching the Finals despite the long odds against them, what happens in real life is often different than how itís mapped out on paper.
Link to story: Spurs Nation Ľ ESPN Summer Forecast has Spurs third in West
I really see us being better than OKC at this point.
1) They lost Kevin Martin. Big scoring drop off.
2) Russell Westbrook coming off injury. Relies on athleticism.
3) Durant is as good as he's going to get. Now he has to defend Kawhi. Good luck!
4) Perkins getting older/slower/less effective.
5) No Fisher to bail them out with veteran play (he was huge against us in 2012).
Westbrook will be fully rehabbed by the playoffs.
I think Durant can get better.
Perkins seems to be declining.
Fisher announced his retirement but isn't it after this coming season?
There are a lot of xfactors with this team. They have drafted well and talent may emerge on the court that we have not seen much of before.
Yeah, there is no evidence that Durant is anywhere near finished improving. He's freaking 24! It'll be a few years until we see his best.
Agree with all of ya'll for the most part. Durant is only gonna get better, Weskbrook might drop off slightly but should be okay com PO time. Ibaka can still get better. I don't think OKC got much worse but they lose a little bit. Martin was garbage to begin with so I don't think that really hurts them. Let's not forget the our big 3 are all one more year older. I like getting Marco and Kawhi/DG/Tiago will all improve. I see the Spurs and Thunder going back and forth for #1 west spot all year. Just like the last 2 seasons.
the "experts" have okc ahead of us, thats fine i guess, whatever.....but the ******* CLIPPERS!!! ahead of us?!?!?!?!?!?! talk about an insane overreaction to Doc Rivers! he is a nice coach, but come on, its not phil jackson were talking about here
Happy to be in the mix....fingers crossed for no major health issues and a return to Finals, B2B
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