NBA Predictions – San Antonio Spurs – 2007-2008
Recap: (2006-2007: The champ is here! The San Antonio Spurs were able to capture yet another NBA title, and they did in such a great fashion. While you wouldn’t be able to tell from their record, they were amazing in the regular season, and had a point differential of over 8 points per game (the biggest difference in the league). Their record is only a shadow of what it could been had they been more fortunate in close regular season games. But they showed their dominance in the playoffs, running through the Nuggest, squeezing by the Suns and dismantling the Jazz. Their Finals victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers was nothing but a matter of time once they won the West. Through it all, Tony Parker emerged as an elite player, and Manu Ginobli proved once again that he deserves more respect than he gets.
Off-season: The Spurs traded Luis Scola to the Rockets and filled a void for Houston that they really needed. Some people think the Rockets will regret this come playoff time and think the trade was desperate financial decision. While that’s entirely possible, I find it difficult to believe that a well-calculated franchise would let a financial decision make room for trading a great player to a divisional rival. There’s some thing the Spurs know about Sciola that the rest of the world doesn’t know. The Rockets signed Ime Udoka and drafted Tiago Splitter and Marcus Williams.
C – Francisco Elson: An athletic big man that can defend the premiere power forwards on the block.
PF – Tim Duncan: In a year where Duncan seemed to let Parker take over the reigns of the offense, Duncan managed a Player Efficiency Rating of 26.2.
SF – Bruce Bowen: Defense and three’s. He’s the worst best player in the NBA.
SG – Michael Finley: He finally got his ring. Will he still have the drive?
PG – Tony Parker: Will he as dominate a player throughout the season as he was in the playoffs?
Honorable starter: Manu gets starters minutes of Finley, and rightfully so. He is a world class player without question.
Bench: Jacque Vaughn, Beno Udrih, Brent Barry, Ime Udoka, Marcus Williams, Robert Horry, Matt Bonner, Ian Mahinmi, Fabricio Oberto.
Philosophy: No matter what Tony Parker is capable of, the offense still runs through Tim Duncan. The Spurs will establish him every game, and that will open it up for Parker and Ginobli to do their thing for the rest of the game. I would love to see the Spurs work on that Pick-n-Roll game though. That would be unstoppable if they ran it perfection.
Projection: This team is aging, and so it will be interesting to see how they do in the regular season. Historically, the Spurs don’t respond to Championship-long playoff runs, but with everyone staying away from International basketball this past summer, they should enough energy for one more run at the title.
Prediction: 58-24; 3rd in the Southwest