Welcome to Hoop Dreams, a season preview unlike any other you’ll read before the 2016-17 season tips off. The premise is simple. We’ll be providing 30 of these fictional forays because it simply stinks that only one team can win the title each year. The list of contending teams seems to shrink with each campaign, and we wanted to provide something to those fans who only get to dream of Larry O’Brien during the offseason. Before October, every team can win the NBA title. Don’t believe us? Then keep reading. – Ed
The last, like, four to six years of the lead up to a new Spurs basketball season have mostly been people wondering whether Tim Duncan was done. This was always hilarious, because people would spend all offseason wondering if this was the year where Duncan’s career took a nosedive, and then Timmy would go out and post per-36 numbers that looked eerily similar to the numbers he always registered.
Now, Duncan is gone, and while there may be some people out there somewhere that are designed to be skeptical of all things Spurs, this is still one of the top five best teams in the NBA. And the last time I checked, when you’re one of the best teams in the NBA and your head coach is an evil genius who coaches circles around everyone, yeah, you have a shot at winning the title.
I will admit: I am one of those people who, for the longest time, wanted to keep writing off the Spurs. I would say things like “their core is old!” or “Kawhi Leonard is overrated!” or “who is on their bench? No one!” because it was easier to do that than to accept that the people who run this franchise forgot more about basketball over their bowl of oatmeal this morning than any of us will know in our lives. As long as the Spurs are being put together by R.C. Buford and Gregg Popovich, San Antonio is going to be a championship-caliber franchise. The 2016-17 San Antonio Spurs were put together by these two. Ergo, this is a team that is going to compete for the championship.
The big question, though, is how do they do that? What do they need to do to win a title? And of course, the answer is easier said than done: beat Golden State and Cleveland. That’s it. Those are the things that San Antonio needs to figure out how to do, because if you can beat the Warriors in a seven-game series, you are going to play against the Cavaliers, and if you can beat them in another seven-game series, you win a shiny trophy.