In the way-too-early prep for the 2017-18 NBA season, ESPN posted a win projection for all 30 teams, including the San Antonio Spurs.
With the 2017 NBA offseason winding down, the 2017-18 season is getting early looks. Even the 2018 offseason is already being speculated on, with ESPN projecting the San Antonio Spurs as a potential superteam to arise next summer, due to an abundance of cap space.
On Thursday, ESPN’s Kevin Pelton released the latest projection for next season, as they predicted the win total for all 30 teams. They used the real plus-minus (RPM) stat for this.
Using this stat, the Spurs were projected to have 52.6 wins for the 2017-18 season. Pelton called the team’s offseason “head-scratching,” but they still had the NBA’s third-best RPM projection. They still have San Antonio down as the second-best defensive team for next season, and like Patty Mills as the point guard.
The predicted 52.6 wins place the Spurs third in the Western Conference. They’re behind the Houston Rockets (55.0) and the Golden State Warriors (62.1).
With the Rockets’ addition of Chris Paul, RPM pushed them to the second spot in the West. Adding PJ Tucker and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute helped them on the defensive end, and slotted them two just spots back of the Spurs.
The Warriors, at 62.1, are the only team to cross 55. They remain in the top spot after last season’s higher projection.
If the Spurs win the projected 52-53 games, it would be their lowest mark since the 2009-10 season that saw them stand tall in 50 games and lose in the Western Conference Semifinals. They won the same amount in the 2011-12 season, which was a strike-shortened year of just 66 games.
Will the Spurs fall in line with the projected 52.6 win total for the 2017-18 season? Could they surpass this with a stronger-than-expected season that ESPN thinks they will have?