5. Houston Rockets - won 7 of last 10
Dating back to the 2019-20 season, the Houston Rockets have only been able to topple the Spurs three times. The start of that run of seven wins in 10 showdowns was the famous Lonnie Walker game in which he single-handedly snatched victory from the jaws of defeat against a James Harden-led squad.
Last season, the Spurs dropped the first game of the series before taking the last three by an average margin of 19.3 points.
The Rockets have been in a rebuild since the 2020-21 season, but they've picked up a wealth of talent in the past few NBA Drafts, including Jalen Green, Josh Christopher, Tari Eason, and Jabari Smith.
Houston almost assuredly will surpass the meager 20 wins they had a season ago, and it wouldn't surprise me if they took a significant step up the standings if that's what they want to do. They have the talent to do so.
4. Detroit Pistons - won 7 of last 10
Despite handing the Spurs what I label their worst loss of the season last January, the Pistons have been relatively unsuccessful against the Silver and Black. Before their buzzer-beating win at the hands of Saddiq Bey, they'd lost four straight in the series.
The Pistons haven't swept the season series against the Spurs since the 2008 season while the Spurs have done so on multiple occasions. Overall, San Antonio has taken seven of the last 10 matchups against Detroit by an average margin of 13.3 points.
With Jaden Ivey joining the mix, Detroit could just reverse the trend if he plays anything like the man he's often compared to, Ja Morant, a man the Spurs have had nightmares about for a couple of years.