Posted by Neil Paine on October 19, 2010
Welcome to our 2010-11 NBA Blogosphere Previews, in which we contact the finest team bloggers on the web and ask them to contribute their thoughts on the squad they cover. What follows is their take, along with the team's depth chart (courtesy of ESPN.com), projected 2011 stats via our Simple Projection System, and polls where you get to have your say. Enjoy!
San Antonio Spurs
Coach: Gregg Popovich
Record: 50-32, Finished 2nd in NBA Southwest Division
Pythagorean W-L: 55-27 (4th of 30)
SRS: 5.07 (4th of 30) ▪ Pace Factor: 91.7 (20th of 30)
Offensive Rating: 110.0 (9th of 30) ▪ Defensive Rating: 104.5 (8th of 30)
2011 Depth Chart (with 2010-11 projected per-36 minute stats ... yellow = newcomer)
2010-11 Blogger Outlook by Neil Paine, Basketball-Reference.com
The forgotten storyline of the 2010-11 season might be whether or not San Antonio's dynasty is finished, following a 50-32 season that represented the Spurs' worst winning % since 1997. San Antonio's Big Three of Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, & Tony Parker looked alternately old and injury-prone last year, while Richard Jefferson -- supposedly the piece that would extend the Spurs' championship window -- flopped badly. Coming off that kind of year, with so many of their key cogs on the wrong side of 30, it would be tempting to write off San Antonio going forward as a former juggernaut whose time has passed.
However, there are still reasons for optimism in South Texas. As much as the Spurs' foundation seemed to crumble last year, their pythagorean W-L record (a better predictor of future success than past W-L) was 55-27, perfectly in line with their actual record in 2008 & '09. And that was with Parker & Jefferson playing some of the worst ball of their careers; since neither would seem to be in their decline phase yet, you have to figure each will progress toward the mean in 2011. Furthermore, this offseason the team added Tiago Splitter, the Spanish League's MVP in 2010, to an emerging group of young talent that includes George Hill and DeJuan Blair.
Make no mistake, though: the Spurs have officially gone all-in. They finally brought Splitter over. They re-signed Jefferson, despite his poor play and offseason opt-out, to a 4-year, $39 million deal that put them perilously close to the luxury tax threshold. They extended the 33-year-old Ginobili for 3 more years of carefully-managed court time. The Spurs' window hasn't closed yet, but with Duncan turning 34 last April, Popovich and co. know it's closing rapidly. One last push could be in the cards over the next few seasons. Whether they still have enough firepower to combat the likes of L.A. & Miami, though? That remains to be seen.