Apr 28, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; San Antonio Spurs forwardTim Duncan
(21), assistant coach Becky Hammon (center) and guard Patty Mills react against the Los Angeles Clippers in game five of the first round of the NBA Playoffs at Staples Center. The Spurs defeated the Clippers 111-107 to take a 3-2 lead. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
The San Antonio Spurs are without question one of the best teams in the league, at least on paper. Last season, the Spurs went 55-27 and were eliminated in the first round after losing to the Los Angeles Clippers in seven games.
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The acquisitions ofLaMarcus Aldridge
should bolster the Spurs into legit contenders. Despite facing questions in the backcourt, withTony Parker
on the decline, no one wants to face San Antonio.
Next: Spurs Win 60 Games
Apr 26, 2015; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs power forward Tim Duncan (21) grabs a rebound against the Los Angeles Clippers in game four of the first round of the NBA Playoffs at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
60 wins is certainly not out of the question for San Antonio next year. Despite being in the Western Conference, the Spurs have a legit chance of winning 60 games and getting home court advantage in the postseason. The Spurs won 62 games in 2013-14 and they have more talent on this roster. The Spurs will finish 61-21, I am calling it.
Next: Three All-Stars?
Jan 28, 2015; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs players (from left to right)Kawhi Leonard
, and Tim Duncan, and Tony Parker watch on the bench during the second half against the Charlotte Hornets at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
Newly acquired Aldridge is nearly a lock for the 2016 All-Star game. Aldridge has made four consecutive all-star games and that should continue as he will be on a top tier team. Kawhi Leonard will be a first time all-star in 2016, as his chance was ruined by injury last year. The third and least likely all-star is Tim Duncan. The 39-year old averaged 13.9 points and 9.1 rebounds last year. The statistics won’t jump out at you like most all-stars, as his minutes are lower, but the impact is there.
Dec 12, 2014; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs shooting guard Kyle Anderson (1) shoots the ball over Los Angeles Lakers point guardJeremy Lin
(17) during the first half at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
Kyle Anderson is coming off a tremendous summer league. He won the Summer League MVP and has led the Spurs to the Summer League Championship. In six summer league games, he is averaging 22 points and 5.8 rebounds. His number will be called on this season and he will produce. Expect Anderson to develop into a much needed playmaker off the Spurs bench in a point-forward role.
Next: Tony Parker Will Bounce Back
May 2, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker (9) reacts in the fourth quarter of game seven of the first round of the NBA Playoffs against the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center. Clippers won 111-109. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
At times, Tony Parker was poor last year. The 33-year old guard averaged 14.4 points and 4.9 assists. In the playoffs he was even worse, as he averaged 10.9 points and 3.6 assists. In Parker’s fairness, he was battling injuries for a significant portion of the season. Expect Parker to average around 15 points and 6 assists. Most importantly, Parker will perform at a high level in the playoffs, at least offensively.
Next: Spurs Will Win Title
Apr 28, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich reacts against the Los Angeles Clippers in game five of the first round of the NBA Playoffs at Staples Center. The Spurs defeated the Clippers 111-107 to take a 3-2 lead. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Saying that the Spurs are winning the championship this season isn’t a bold prediction. In fact, it is a reasonable prediction and Spurs fans are expecting it. Adding a franchise player in Aldridge will put them in position for another run. Kawhi Leonard is on his way to stardom and Danny Green is on the rise. If Parker plays well, there is no question that they can win it and he will. Add another one to coach Gregg Popovich’s resume.