San Antonio Spurs
Last Season’s Record: 50-32 (.610), Seventh in West
2010-11 Season Record Prediction: 55-27
The Spurs head into the upcoming season with much to prove after getting swept to the Phoenix Suns in the second round of the playoffs last season.
San Antonio signed the Brazilian two-time MVP of the Spanish Supercup, Tiago Splitter, this offseason.
ESPN's John Hollinger ranked the Spurs as one of the biggest offseason winners for signing Splitter to a mere three-year, $10 million contract.
Tim Duncan, who enters training camp 15 pounds lighter, will finally receive some much needed help in the front-court from the 7'0" Brazilian.
After missing a career-high 26 games last season, starting point-guard Tony Parker will return as the Spurs' floor general. At the age of 28, Parker remains in the midst of his prime with the capabilities of leading San Antonio to another championship.
In addition to San Antonio's core, young guns George Hill and DeJuan Blair should be provided with ample playing time to make a serious impact this season.
Like many teams, San Antonio's best players are aging.
Although Duncan has proved to be extremely durable throughout his 13 year career, he has already entered the decline stage of his career.
Since Duncan can no longer physically carry his team to the promise land, the big concern will be whether or not the rest of the roster will be able to.
Small forward Richard Jefferson logged only 31.1 minutes and posted just 12.3 points per game last season—both his lowest averages since his rookie season—and will need to improve statistically during this year if the Spurs want to be viewed as a serious threat in the wild wild West.