Where national media is power ranking the San Antonio Spurs

San Antonio Spurs Dejounte Murray, Derrick White
San Antonio Spurs Dejounte Murray, Derrick White / Pool/Getty Images

Looking at the San Antonio Spurs' roster as an outsider, it's understandable that many people think they're going to have a rough year. Heck, even as a long-time follower of the team, I tend to agree. They're now without their leading scorer of the past three seasons, don't have any All-Stars, and have very little veteran presence.

Of course, too much reliance on veterans got the Spurs into the limbo state they've been in for the last two seasons. Now, they face an uphill battle but still ultimately unpredictable 2021-22 season.

There's no doubt the Spurs have a lot of talent. But rebuilds don't happen overnight. With one of the toughest schedules in the NBA, there will be many hardships throughout the year. The big question is how severe the growing pains will be.

I'll save my personal guess about how the season will play out for the Spurs for the end, but I wanted to take a look at what all the major media outlets are saying on the matter. All of these power rankings were published within the last month. Let's get started.


13th in the Western Conference

In an August 30th article, NBA.com's John Schuhmann predicted the San Antonio Spurs to finish ahead of only the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference. There are some interesting tidbits about last season in the feature, including the fact that the Spurs were the NBA's best second-quarter team and second-worst in third quarters last season.

"They don't necessarily need a star to be competitive," writes Schumann. "But there's some intrigue in how Murray, Johnson, and Vassell develop without the vets around."


11th in the Western Conference, 23rd in the NBA

In this column (subscription required) from August 23rd, Andrew Lopez adds the Sacramento Kings and Minnesota Timberwolves as teams in the West he believes will finish behind the Spurs in 2022. The Kings won 31 to the Spurs' 33 games last season, so it might be a photo finish once again. The Wolves, meanwhile, won 23 last season. "San Antonio's youth movement looks to be underway," says Lopez.

CBS Sports

12th in the Western Conference, 24th in the NBA

On August 10th, CBS's Colin Ward-Henninger ranked the Spurs 24th in the NBA in his piece. "San Antonio has a loaded backcourt, so it will be interesting to see how the minutes shake out," he says. "Either way, San Antonio may have to wait at least another season to start a new playoff streak."


12th in the Western Conference, 24th in the NBA

In his post dated August 11th, Yahoo's Kurt Helin had the Spurs at 24th overall. Only the Magic, Rockets, Pistons, Cavaliers, Kings, and Thunder will struggle more, in his opinion. "It's going to be a process despite a nice backcourt with Murray, Walker, and White," says Helin.

Bleacher Report

13th in the Western Conference, 26th in the NBA

Bleacher Report's Greg Swartz has the least amount of faith in the 2022 Spurs of everyone I read. Citing the team as not having anyone that's made anything close to an All-Star leap yet (which I might argue against), he has them as the fifth-worst team in the league next season.

"Are we prepared for a world where the San Antonio Spurs are one of the worst teams in the NBA?" asks Swartz.

While I'll likely go into more depth in a future article, I tend to believe San Antonio has a ceiling of the ninth seed in the West and a floor of 13th. As I said, there is still plenty of talent there, but figuring it all out on the fly will prove tough at times.

Next. Who will emerge as the Spurs' leading scorer in '22?. dark

With those bookends set, I'll go right down the middle and predict an 11th-place finish for the Silver and Black in their first real year of truly going all-in on a rebuild. If a couple of guys take a big leap and Coach Popovich carries over some of that Olympic fortune, though, I could see the Spurs finding their way into a third straight play-in scenario.