Here are a few links from around the blogosphere, rating what each of the NBA's 30 squads have done since the Cleveland Cavaliers had the first pick of the draft. Let's start with Rob Mahoney's look at what PATFO has been up to this summer. He gives them a "B" saying:
... a team that was seconds away from winning the title will get another shot this season. There's no evidence to suggest that the Spurs' window is shut. San Antonio is, at the very least, set to be awfully good this season, in part because it retained key pieces and replaced low-level contributors. ... The Spurs didn't do anything flashy, but they were a good enough team to hold course.
David Aldridge is similarly complimentary of the Spurs' moves, although he thinks that:
The only issue San Antonio has is whether it can recover mentally from being five seconds away from a title. You will hear all the brave, tough talk during training camp about how the Spurs are "past" Game 6 and 7 of The Finals. I won't believe it. Getting that close to a fifth ring, six years after winning the last one, and not coming away with it is a gut punch ... even for an organization as tough as San Antonio's. There's no guarantee the Spurs will ever get as close, even though they're always in the mix, and probably will be again.
I'm not sure they'll be carrying around that heartbreak for a full year though, and if they do it'll only mean more motivation by the time they get back to the Finals. Aldridge's piece is a good read because of who he considers the "Main Man" that San Antonio acquired this offseason: Assistant coach Jim Boylen.
Finally, check out this SI round table in which Chris Mannix proves himself nearly as optimistic about the Spurs chances as any £er you'd care to name.
I'm not willing to bury San Antonio yet, not with Tim Duncan looking so good late in his career, not with Tony Parker still in his prime, not with virtually the entire core of last season's Finals team (minus Gary Neal, plus Marco Belinelli) returning for another run. I like a healthy Spurs team ahead of Oklahoma City after Martin left the Thunder to sign with Minnesota.
So, what do you think? Are these takes on the Spurs offseason fair, too harsh, or not glowing enough? And has the attention that the league's cognoscenti lavished on the Spurs during their run to the Finals evaporated, or is it maturing from a mere playoff infatuation into a case off full-blown basketball love?
More from Pounding The Rock:
- Why did the Spurs lose Game 6 of the Finals? Part 3: The Big Three's struggles
- Finding league bias in the Spurs' schedule was surprisingly difficult this year
- J.R. Wilco talks San Antonio Spurs Schedule on the Phil Naessens Show
- The end of Super Star treatment: Or, What I would do if I were NBA Commissioner for a day
- A Vegas Diary: The second time around, Part 2