Watchability Rankings: No. 8 Spurs
by Adi Joseph, USA TODAY Sports
USA TODAY Sports’ Adi Joseph and Sean Highkin will be counting down NBA teams based on watchability for the upcoming 2013-14 seasons. We’ll go one team a day, from least-watchable to most, giving you an idea of what to keep an eye out for this season. Today, we continue with the No. 8 San Antonio Spurs:
2012-13 record: 58-24, reached NBA Finals.
Adi Joseph’s 2013-14 record projection: 54-28, No. 4 seed in Western Conference playoffs.
Two best players: PG Tony Parker (20.3 points, 7.6 assists a game, 52.2% shooting), C Tim Duncan (17.8 points, 9.9 rebounds, 2.7 blocks a game).
Overview: The Spurs have won at least 57% of their games every season since David Robinson joined them in 1989-90. Don’t expect that to change. Their surge to the Finals last season came after claiming the No. 1 seed and losing a tense Western Conference finals the year before. But they are aging, and Duncan may have a hard time repeating his best performance in five years. Parker is a bonified superstar now, though, allowing the big man to take a breather. This offseason they mostly did Spurs things, namely signing Marco Belinelli for a reasonable price and keeping Manu Ginobili and Tiago Splitter in town.
WHY YOU CAN’T MISS THEM
The greatest active player: Four players have been the best player on four NBA championship teams: George Mikan, Bill Russell, Michael Jordan and Duncan. (Note: A possible argument could be made for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, but Magic Johnson probably was better by 1984-85.) Duncan is one of the 10 best players in NBA history, but the 37-year-old won’t be around much longer. He has a player option for 2014-15, but that easily could end up being his finale. Take advantage. Embrace the bank shot.
The Gregg Popovich experience: The Spurs coach is the best in the business at coaching basketball. He also is the best in the business at interviews. And he’s the best in the business at somehow making everyone who comes in contact with him smile and wince simultaneously. We can only hope that when he hangs it up as a coach, he’ll … [For more on NBA Watchability Rankings: No. 8 San Antonio Spurs, click here.]