San Antonio Spurs
Last Year's Record: 58-24
Key Losses: Jackie Butler, Luis Scola
Key Additions: Ime Udoka, Ian Mahinmi
1. What significant moves were made during the offseason?
The Spurs, going with the "if it ain't broke" school of thought, brought just about everybody back from last year's championship team. They even went so far as to give Jacque Vaughn a two year contract and sign Bruce Bowen through the 2009-10 season, when he'll be thirty-eight years old. Ime Udoka, a relative new face in the NBA despite being 30, was brought over from Portland and will likely get most of Brent Barry's minutes. Ian Mahinmi, a young French "P"F drafted a couple years ago, will probably spend the entire year playing for the NBDL's Austin Toros. Lastly, there's Marcus Williams, a second-round pick out of Arizona. He's young and tallish.
San Antonio also traded Jackie Butler and the rights to Argentinian PF Luis Scola to Houston for a second round pick. This was purely a cost-cutting measure and made me all sorts of grouchy.
2. What are the team's biggest strengths?
The Spurs' players have a unique and unbreakable spirit of paternal camaraderie that is fostered by weekly knitting sessions held at Beno Udrih's quaint, but comfortable, downtown loft. Also, on the longer road trips they reenact various scenes from BBC's version of the Jane Austen classic Pride and Prejudice, with leader Tim Duncan resolving disputes regarding who gets to play Elizabeth Bennet.
3. What are the team's biggest weaknesses?
The relentless dirge sounding the pending team-wide infirmity and Matt Bonner's insistence on performing Mariah Carey's "Emotions" in the locker room despite his inability to hit any of the high notes.
4. What are the goals for this team?
Most of the organization wants Tim and Tony to "just freaking get it over with and make out already."
5. Can you think of one compelling reason to watch the Spurs during the regular season?
Uh, besides the possibility of Joey Crawford and Tim Duncan getting into the slap fight to end all slap fights, I would have to say "no."
Predicted Record: 55-27