The San Antonio Spurs were predicted to finish third by ESPN for the 2017-18 NBA season.
The 2017-18 NBA season is still two months away, which only means previews and predictions will pick up for all 30 NBA teams. That includes the Western Conference and the San Antonio Spurs’ standing at the top of it. They’ll look to take the top of the conference for the first time since 2014.
ESPN is gearing up for the upcoming season. It released a prediction for the Eastern and Western Conferences, with this done by the ESPN Forecast panel.
The Forecast panel predicted the Spurs to finish third in the West, with a 54-28 record. This is down from their 61-21 mark from the 2016-17 season.
ESPN said the Spurs’ offseason “didn’t quite go the way the Spurs had planned.” Losing out on Chris Paul and letting Jonathon Simmons go were named the two biggest reasons for the decline. That’s along with the risk of Rudy Gay, who will return from a ruptured Achilles he suffered in January.
The Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets were predicted to finish No. 1 and 2 by ESPN, respectively. Both received projections that raised their win total from last season. The Warriors go from 66-16 to 67-15, while the Rockets end at 57-25 compared to 55-27.
These predictions are ways of getting ready for the fall, but not a definitive conclusion for anything to come next season. This doesn’t factor injuries, which will occur on almost every team, some of whom will be for the top players in the league.
Will the Spurs finish at 54-28? What about the Warriors at 67-15? No one will know until April. For some teams, it may not matter if they remain healthy and “guarantee” their way into the playoffs. Do you agree with ESPN’s predictions?