2017-18 San Antonio Spurs Predictions and NBA Futures Odds Picks
The San Antonio Spurs just keep rolling along. The summer turned into one big arms race in the league, as Houston, Oklahoma City, Boston, and Minnesota all got very aggressive in their attempts to match the Cavaliers - never mind the Warriors. And the Cavaliers did more than they probably wanted to as well. There was a whole lot of panicking going on. The Spurs don't panic. They tweak and adjust, but mostly they keep doing what they do. And we know they are going to be tough. They have the best two-way player in the league - the favorite to win the MVP crown this year - and the best coach there is. And they know that that, plus a system that they believe in and stick to religiously, is all it takes for them again to be right in the mix through the season and into the playoffs. Teams in the west improved to try to close the gap with the Warriors. But they know that they have to catch the Spurs, too - and that is not going to be easy.
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If you want a reason to be concerned, it would obviously be at point guard. Tony Parker badly hurt his quad in the playoffs and is going to be out for a while. Initial reports were that he could be gone until January, though lately indications have been closer to November. Given the nature of the injury, it is far from certain how effective he'll be when he does return. The risk of re-injury is high, and because of the importance of the quad he could lose a step or some spring to his jump. And even if he does return right back where he was when he was injured, we are still dealing with a guy who has been on a real decline lately. In his absence Patty Mills will be the starter, and Dejounte Murray will be the backup. That's not a championship duo.
Kawhi Leonard is great, and he is going to have a great year. There is no doubt of that. What this team really needs this year is for LaMarcus Aldridge to elevate his game. Aldridge has been fine in his two years with the Spurs, but he hasn't been as good as he was in his later years in Portland, and he isn't as good as the Spurs would ideally like him to be. The question here is how big the upside truly is at this point. He's a big man who is 32 and is 11 years into his NBA career, so there is no certainty that he can find the extra gear anymore. If he takes another step back this year then the team could have issues - Leonard is truly great, but there is only so much he can do.
2017 San Antonio Spurs Additions and Departures
The Spurs made one significant move in free agency, and I absolutely hate it. Rudy Gay, who was a free agent addition, does not seem like a San Antonio guy. He's 31-years-old, and coming off an Achilles injury that cost him half of last season, so his effectiveness has to be a question. Even if he does return at full strength, though, he's not a guy I would want on my team. He can score - there is no doubting that. But he's an annoyingly inefficient shooter, and it is no fluke that he hasn't played on a lot of winning teams since his college days. We keep hearing stories about how he has changed and matured, but then teams keep showing him the door. The Spurs have long been marked by an almost boring commitment to shared priorities. I'm not convinced Gay is up to fitting into that kind of a regime. And the Spurs are highly committed to passing, and Gay is far from a strong passer.
Beyond that there was a few players shuffled around - Jonathan Simmons and Dewayne Dedmon leaving for too much money from other teams was the most significant losses, so there is nothing that can't be overcome. And the draft was about as boring as you would expect from San Antonio. They were one of the few teams to keep their picks, and they chose two seniors - Colorado guard Derrick White in the first round and Clemson forward Jaron Blossomgame in the second.
2017 San Antonio Spurs Futures Odds and Trends
San Antonio Spurs Futures Odds
NBA title odds (from BetOnline ) : +1200
Western Conference title odds (from BetOnline) : +700
Kawhi Leonard MVP Odds (from Bovada ) : +350 (favorite)
Season win total (from BetOnline): 53.5 ("over" is favored at -130)
Last year the team wasn't much to bet on - or against. At 41-39-2 ATS there was no money to be made betting on or against them. They weren't much better on the total, going over 43 times and "under" 37.
2017 San Antonio Spurs Predictions and Futures Odds Picks
I respect this team in a big way. You would have to be an idiot not to. And Leonard is as good as anyone in the league. I can't shake the feeling, though, that this team is set to take a bit of a step back. They will still be strong - Gregg Popovich alone ensures that - but with Pau Gasol and Manu Ginobili not getting any younger, Tony Parker's status leaving all sorts of questions on the point, and the questionable addition of Gay, it feels like they could be less than ideally sharp. I would lean towards the under on the season total - especially given the price - and I don't see any value at all in the futures.
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