Three things are certain in life: death, taxes, and the San Antonio Spurs competing for an NBA title on an annual basis. This conventional wisdom is primed to be turned on its head in 2018.
In an offseason that saw most competitive teams partake in an arms race to challenge the Golden State Warriors, the Spurs decided to stay the course. San Antonio seemed content to re-sign most of its existing core, with Pau Gasol, Lamarcus Aldridge, Manu Ginobili and Patty Mills being extended. Rudy Gay was added to the mix in free agency to ease the workload on superstar, Kawhi Leonard; yet somehow, it feels like the Spurs missed the ball.
Their fans mirror this sentiment.
Houston seemed determined to give James Harden an elite supporting cast; they acquired Chris Paul. Oklahoma City wanted to provide their MVP a similar situation; they traded for Paul George and Carmelo Anthony. The Denver Nuggets and Minnesota Timberwolves were tired of hearing about their potential; Paul Millsap and Jimmy Butler were brought in, respectively.
When Kyrie Irving expressed interest in being a Spur, and San Antonio was looked at as being one piece away from competing, they needed to make it happen.
While seemingly every Western Conference team took a massive leap forward, last year’s second-seed Spurs missed a major opportunity to do the same. The point guard position is widely regarded as the most important position on the court, and according to Adam Fromal of Bleacher Report’s Point Guard Power Rankings, San Antonio has only the 17th best man. For comparison, the floor generals of San Antonio’s main rivals – Houston, Golden State and Oklahoma City – owned positions four, three and one on that same list. Surely, Kyrie Irving could provide help in an area of need and take the scoring load off of defensive freak, Kawhi Leonard.
Despite this, I never recommend betting against the surreptitious Spurs.