Ball Don't Lie - NBA

 

Last year's record? 50-32, lost in the second round to Phoenix.

Significant departures? Roger Mason(notes) Jr., Keith Bogans(notes).

Significant arrivals? Tiago Splitter(notes), Bobby Simmons(notes), James Anderson(notes).

Projected record, as predicted three months ago in time to publish in Yahoo! Sports' NBA Preview Magazine? 55-27

Why I think that sounds about right?

Because, even as Tim Duncan(notes) and Manu Ginobili(notes) fall further and further from their primes, it's important to remember what their primes once stood for. The best center-that-was-called-a-power-forward in NBA history. The best sixth man in NBA history. This isn't exactly Chris Gatling and Kendall Gill, working a few years after their prime.

No, this is TD and Manu, with help from an in-prime bounce-back year from Tony Parker(notes), and hopefully the same from Richard Jefferson(notes). Given aid from youngsters like DeJuan Blair(notes) and Tiago Splitter, sopping up minutes and getting it right. Though the West doesn't have a clear-cut number two behind the Lakers, the Spurs seem to have the rotation and the temperament to stand out.

And in a seven game series? Just wait until they get there ...

Why I think I might be terribly, terribly wrong?

Injuries, I suppose, could derail things. Actually, injuries could completely derail things. Tim Duncan and Tony Parker have long struggled with plantar fasciitis. Richard Jefferson and Manu Ginobili have had their injury concerns over the last few seasons, and DeJuan Blair, if the rumors are true, only has one leg.

So it's completely feasible for a rash of these things to pop up and stop the Spurs short of 50 wins. Healthy, though? This is a team with championship potential.

Dan Devine's Corner Three

Mark Eaton rhymes ...
Made-up limericks about "going for it" in the NBA regular season and in life, from the 7-foot-4 former Utah Jazz center and current celebrity motivational speaker.

DeJuan Blair's a rebounding machine.
On him, Coach Pop is mighty keen.
   It was love at first sight
   When Greg watched the night
That DeJuan tried to crush Hasheem's spleen.

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Let's take a closer look at Antonio McDyess(notes), who is calmly breaking the world record for longest amount of time holding your breath.

 

This has been a closer look at Antonio McDyess, who is calmly breaking the world record for longest amount of time holding your breath.

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We'll be missing you

Sayonara, Roger Mason Jr. The emergence of George Hill(notes) and the presence of Keith Bogans cramped Mason's style in San Antonio last season, but he's just a year removed from starting 71 games for the 54-win 2008-09 Spurs, averaging 11.8 points per game and hitting 42.1 percent of his threes, including some serious daggers.

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