2015-16 NBA Previews – Spurs
The San Antonio Spurs were the unquestioned winners of the 2015 NBA offseason. Every year we question whether or not this group’s championship window has officially closed, but with the moves they were able to make this summer, the question is now: Are they the legitimate favorites to win a title in 2016?
San Antonio Spurs Season Preview
Head Coach: Gregg Popovich
2014 Record: 55-27
Spurs Odds to NBA Title: +350
Spurs Odds to Win Conference: +225
Where to begin. For starters, the San Antonio Spurs have championship experience. The players on this roster know how to win, and even more important is that they’ll find a way to combat struggles late in the year by integrating a slightly new rotation into the mix early in the season.
Along the same lines, coaching is a huge asset here. Gregg Popovich is a perennial Coach of the Year candidate (he’s also be named Coach K’s successor for USA Basketball) and his willingness to sacrifice individual games for the greater good will pay dividends when the championship hunt is officially on come April.
As unbelievable as it sounds, we have to consider the notion that chemistry may be an issue for this team early in the year.
Adding a player like LaMarcus Aldridge who needs touches to the mix has the potential to lead to an adjustment period, and while it’s a paltry sample size, preseason proved that the offense isn’t quite the well-oiled machine we’re used to.
You also have to consider health to be a concern — or more realistically, a potential concern. The downside of having experience is likely that age comes with it. This is not a spry group with the exception of Kawhi Leonard and a few others.
This is why Popovich is going to implement his random DNPs this season, and that’s why this group will likely (knock on wood) avoid any catastrophic injuries throughout the year.
San Antonio 2015 Betting Prediction:
At this point in the process, there’s absolutely no reason to believe that this group isn’t a contender. Taking it one step further, there’s no reason this team shouldn’t be considered a favorite out West.
The only thing standing in this group’s way (assuming it stays healthy throughout the year) is that the conference in which it resides is absolutely stacked.
Getting through the Los Angeles Clippers, the Houston Rockets, the Oklahoma City Thunder and the defending champion Golden State Warriors won’t be easy, but entering the year, it’s the Spurs who have the best odds to win the conference — not any of the aforementioned contenders.
Spurs Key Personnel Losses:
- Tiago Splitter, Cory Joseph, Marco Belinelli, Aron Baynes
The big name here is Tiago Splitter. Splitter’s defense will be missed, but most fans will survive considering the trade that sent the center away was done in order to sign LaMarcus Aldridge later in the summer.
Spurs Top Newcomers:
- LaMarcus Aldridge, David West
LaMarcus Aldridge was the only All-Star from 2015 to swap franchises this summer, and wouldn’t you know it, he went to a team that is a perennial contender.
Along with Aldridge, the Spurs bolstered their frontcourt by signing former All-Star David West. West opted to forego 11-plus million dollars in the final year of his deal with the Indiana Pacers to join the San Antonio organization.
That right there proves just how desirable this franchise has become, and it’s easy to see why they have the second-best odds behind the Cleveland Cavaliers to win a title this season.
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