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San Antonio Spurs Predictions: 2012 NBA Future Lines & Gambling Analysis

San Antonio Spurs Season Preview – NBA Predictions

No team in the NBA likes to fly under the radar as much as the San Antonio Spurs, and that’s exactly what they did throughout the 2012 offseason. The Spurs quietly re-signed Tim Duncan, Tony Parker avoided too much publicity following an eye injury (that took place at a rap concert) and the team should enter the new year with hopes of returning to the Western Conference Finals.  

Odds to Win (By bovada.lv)
2013 NBA Championship: 18/1
2013 Western Conference: 17/2

There’s no denying that the San Antonio Spurs’ championship window is closing. Tim Duncan is 36 years old, Manu Ginobili is coming off an injury-riddled year and the team hasn’t made a major move in as long as most casual fans can likely remember. Things have remained largely the same around San Antonio, but when you’ve encountered the kind of success they have, why change?

Head coach Gregg Popovich was the winner of the 2011-12 Coach of the Year award, and for good reason, as he led his team to the No. 1 seed out West. His schemes are solid, his success is undeniable and he’s about as no-nonsense as it comes in today’s NBA. Nobody in the game knows how to get the best out of his role players, and that’s exactly what he did last season.

Players such as Tiago Splitter, Gary Neal and Matt Bonner would be completely lost on many NBA rosters, but Popovich’s incredible game planning—and willingness to play young prospects—has translated into success for many inexperienced players over the years. The Spurs only had one draft pick this offseason—Marcus Denmon (No. 59 overall)—so the youngster on the roster are all a year older and should have no troubles integrating back into the same system.

One of the more important pieces to the puzzle in San Antonio is Kawhi Leonard. The 21-year-old forward had a solid rookie season, and there’s no indication anywhere in his game or on this roster that he’ll take a step back. He is a perfect example of a young player jelling right away in Popovich’s system, and he should continue to see his role increased this season.

The Spurs often times get a bad rap as being a boring basketball team because of their age and their once touted defensive style of play. However, the team averaged the second-most points per game in the entire NBA last season. This squad, which is eerily similar to this year’s group, ran the seventh-fastest pace in the league—while averaging the third-fewest turnovers—and as long as the veterans haven’t lost a significant step, they’ll be back at it again in 2013. [ad-6571516]

Starting off the year with a bang, the Spurs have 10 of their first 13 games against perennial playoff contenders, and even the lesser-quality teams made big splashes in the draft this offseason. Getting off on the right foot is crucial for this team because, as we’ve seen in the past, Popovich isn’t afraid to sit his star players for rest throughout the year. If the team struggles early, they don’t have the luxury of resting late and holding pat for one of the top seeds in the playoffs.

As long as the Spurs’ core group can remain healthy, there’s no reason to believe this isn’t a top 3 team out West. Their depth is about as good as it comes in the NBA—they had 11 players average at least 7.9 points per game last season—and they remain one of the better coached teams in the league; but like most teams in today’s game, it starts and ends with the star players. Duncan still has value even at his age, Parker is coming off his best NBA season and Ginobili can give you energy night in and night out when healthy.

Spurs Predictions

Whether or not this team is a championship squad really comes down to how healthy they remain and how well they keep up with the teams that have improved. The Los Angeles Lakers will be much better in 2013, the Denver Nuggets have added a new component in Andre Iguodala and the Oklahoma City Thunder—who defeated the Spurs in the 2012 Western Conference Finals—are continually maturing. Expect San Antonio to be a top-3 seed out West again this year, but once the grueling playoffs arrives, don’t be surprised if they’re beat out by a team that’s shown more improvement since last year.

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