4. Jakob Poeltl will record his first ever triple-double
That's right, I'm getting a little crazy with this one. Jakob Poeltl has become more and more of a nightly double-double threat with his greatly improved play this season. Against the Oklahoma City Thunder before the All-Star break, he put up 20 points, 17 boards, and five assists in the win.
On the season, Jakob has been relatively close to getting his first ever triple-double a couple of times. On opening night, he had 12 points, 13 rebounds, and seven assists in a win over the Orlando Magic. He also had nine, nine, and seven against the Denver Nuggets in December.
The biggest key to Poeltl getting this done will be his teammates having a hot shooting night. He's a good passer from both the top of the key and inside, but the Spurs' offense has a tendency to sputter out for periods, and that doesn't allow him to get the assists he usually would.
Averaging 13.1 points and 9.2 rebounds per game on the season, Jakob just needs his teammates to finish plays consistently on a given night and he'll likely get that elusive triple-double eventually. For fun, I'll predict it happens against Houston or Portland in the final two weeks of the season.
5. The Spurs will pass up the Los Angeles Lakers in the standings
Things are not going well in Laker Land. Not only have the Los Angeles Lakers freefallen to 27-31 and ninth in the Western Conference, but they didn't make any moves at the trade deadline. They also hardly have any picks to work with in the next few years of the NBA Draft.
Beyond the Spurs' probably having a brighter immediate future in the seasons coming, they might even be able to surpass the struggling Lakers in the standings by this season's end.
The Spurs are just 4.5 games behind the Lakers, who have the third-toughest strength of schedule remaining in the NBA. Meanwhile, the Spurs are 15th in schedule strength.
The Lakers lost three of four heading into the All-Star break and return with matchups against the LA Clippers, New Orleans Pelicans, and Dallas Mavericks beginning February 25th. A big determining factor on whether the Spurs can catch the Lakers in the standings is when they face off for the final time this season on March 7th in San Antonio.