San Antonio Spurs News

San Antonio Spurs: ESPN projection lands them outside playoff picture

By Rob Wolkenbrod
LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 26: Head coach Gregg Popovich of the United States works with DeMar DeRozan #35 during a practice session at the 2018 USA Basketball Men's National Team minicamp at the Mendenhall Center at UNLV on July 26, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 26: Head coach Gregg Popovich of the United States works with DeMar DeRozan #35 during a practice session at the 2018 USA Basketball Men's National Team minicamp at the Mendenhall Center at UNLV on July 26, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
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ESPN does not think the San Antonio Spurs will finish high enough to make the 2018-19 postseason.

For a chunk of the 2017-18 season, the San Antonio Spurs were in the top four of the Western Conference standings. Though, a mid-season slump saw them slide out of the playoff picture at one point, but an eventual rise into the top eight transpired. This earned the Silver and Black a playoff spot as the No. 7 seed.

However, after just five games, the Spurs’ hopes vanished at the hands of the Golden State Warriors for the second consecutive season. It’s safe to say the 2018-19 San Antonio team will not be the same one that closed the season in April, so it might change expectations.

For ESPN’s Forecast panel, it did, but on a downward trend. They have the Spurs at a 44-38 record, good for ninth place in the West and one spot out of the playoff picture.

More from Spurs News

  1. Golden State Warriors: 61-21
  2. Houston Rockets: 57-25
  3. Utah Jazz: 49-33
  4. Oklahoma City Thunder: 49-33
  5. Denver Nuggets: 47-35
  6. Los Angeles Lakers: 46-36
  7. New Orleans Pelicans: 45-37
  8. Minnesota Timberwolves: 45-37
  9. San Antonio Spurs: 44-38
  10. Portland Trail Blazers: 43-39

ESPN made third and tenth place separated by just six games, so the window will be tight for not just the Spurs, but everyone in this crowded conference. It’s also with the LeBron James-improved Los Angeles Lakers and a rise from the Denver Nuggets, led by Nikola Jokic, into the top eight, which also pushed out the Portland Trail Blazers, last season’s No. 3 seed.

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The Spurs made the playoffs with just nine games from Kawhi Leonard, and now have a full season of DeMar DeRozan on the way. Danny Green and Kyle Anderson’s departures may hurt the defense, but it depends on if DeRozan rises from his level of play with the Toronto Raptors and how much other additions, including a full year of Derrick White, make an impact.

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