After Tim Duncan retirement the Spurs still in contention. Even Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker on the wrong sides of 30s and battling injuries. Because they had Kawhi Leonard the best two way player in this era. An MVP and defensive player of the year candidate season after season. You add LaMarcus Aldridge who still on top of his game. Then the best coach in any sports history, Gregg Popovich. With the break up between the Spurs and Leonard last year. The Spurs being a contending team is over. For the back to back years people predicted the Spurs are out of the playoff race or will get the eight spot.
With the Spurs building on their young core for years. Leading by veterans Demar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge. The Spurs had an advantage to be in top four in West.
DeRozan on his second year as a Spur he lead the team in assists, rebound second and scoring second. Expect him to had another career year as he was named as top free agent next summer. They had a great run in playoffs against the top seeded Nuggets. With Dejounte Murray as his fourth year as a Spur is coming back. Only Demarre Carroll and Trey Lyles as a newest Spur.
LeBron James and the Lakers had new team with Anthony Davis. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George for the Clippers. Westbrook to the Rockets. Conley to the Jazz and Porzingis to the Mavs. Newly traded Hassan Whiteside for the Blazers also. These guys didn’t had a familiarity into each other. It’s will takes time to get gelled.
Unlike the Spurs who are already established. Their main contributor already played in a season to each other. While other their top gunner will find some adjustments to fit their role.
The Spurs are healthy, the latest casualty of injury DJ still young. Projected to had another breakout season. Only Rudy Gay for the Spurs missed significant amount of games in the past. LeBron age catching him as evident last season. DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis is injury prone. Okay Thompson is out until February or March. Also Jusuf Nurkic timeline yet to identify. Even Kawhi Leonard is yet to play full 82 games in his career,also with Paul George. Missing games in the competitive West can change anything. There is no clear favorite to win it all. Spurs depth chart can give them a luxury of injury free. Popovich had this awareness in the past.
Derrick White proved that he belongs. He had his best games of his career in playoffs. Even his last three games isn’t impactful due to lack of experience. He is destined to be a good two way player. White bullied Jamal Murray defense in the paint in playoffs. What damage he can do with the shorter and smaller guards? Lonnie Walker IV will play quality minutes in the league. Dejounte Murray had another All Defense team award. He is the face of the Spurs now and the coming future. He just only 22 who is a jumpshot away to be an All Star. Bryn Forbes the most consistent Spur will continue his unfearless play.
It’s find funny when media can’t even mention the Spurs. But betting against Pop is the worst idea you’re going to made in your life.