3 West Playoff Teams the Spurs Will Surpass Next Season

San Antonio Spurs v Portland Trail Blazers
San Antonio Spurs v Portland Trail Blazers / Abbie Parr/GettyImages
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San Antonio Spurs
Luka Doncic / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

3. Dallas Mavericks

Despite having Luka Doncic, who is one of the best players in the NBA at age 22, the Dallas Mavericks might have a limited ceiling. Doncic can only do so much, and he could use a better second option than Kristaps Porzingis and an upgraded supporting cast. Of course, they won't have cap space and also have limited assets, both of which are needed to make those things happen.

Having said that, I don't expect a major step back next season, considering they're on pace to finish with an identical winning percentage for the 3rd straight year. Yet, with a winning percentage safely above .500 and below .600, the Mavericks are only slightly better than the basketball equivalent of a shoulder shrug emoji.

Enter the Spurs, who, in spite of being well below .500, have a point differential of a 24-24 team. Basically, their advanced stats say they're decent even if their record doesn't agree. There are a lot of factors as to why that is, but the main takeaway is that San Antonio has been better than their record and has plenty of ways to improve next season.

Meanwhile, the Mavs don't. As a result, the door could be open for the Spurs to catch Dallas next season.

Ultimately, the Spurs are on the right track in regard to their rebuild. They can take a major leap forward next season by landing a top-five pick in the draft, effectively using their cap space and internal improvement.

If the Spurs do, then they could definitely surpass Portland, Los Angeles, and Dallas next season. However, a lot will depend on how San Antonio finishes the regular season, how they do in the offseason, and how the other three teams approach free agency.

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That said, the Spurs should definitely be better next season and back in the playoffs.