Head coach Gregg Popovich took over on a full-time basis in 1997-98, and since then the franchise has reached the playoffs 22 straight times while winning five NBA titles. The players have changed, but guys like LaMarcus Aldridge and DeMar DeRozan should keep this squad competitive.
On the other hand, the last two seasons were the two worst in the Popovich era by win percentage, resulting in back-to-back first-round exits.
The Spurs will hope to get back on track this season and re-establish themselves as legitimate contenders.
Season Opener: Oct. 23 vs. New York Knicks
Championship Odds: 40-1 (via Caesars)
Full Schedule: NBA.com
Los Angeles Clippers (First Game: Oct. 31)
The Spurs only saw two games against Kawhi Leonard and the Toronto Raptors last season following an ugly divorce between the two sides.
While the teams split the season series, including a DeRozan triple-double in a January win, Leonard definitely had the better year when he helped the Raptors win their first NBA championship.
San Antonio will now have more chances to get even against their former superstar after he signed with the Los Angeles Clippers this offseason. The teams will play four games while also competing for positioning in the Western Conference standings.
Unfortunately, his new team could be even better after also adding Paul George to a squad that features Lou Williams, Patrick Beverley and Montrezl Harrell.
The Clippers will be especially impressive defensively, so it will be up to secondary options like Derrick White and Bryn Forbes to have big games like they did in the playoffs against the Denver Nuggets.
Houston Rockets (First Game: Dec. 3)
The first step toward getting back into title contention will be to take care of business within the division.
The Houston Rockets have won the Southwest in each of the past two years, going 6-2 against the Spurs in this span.
Houston will be one of the most intriguing teams in the NBA this season with a backcourt featuring James Harden and Russell Westbrook. Although the pair might have problems sharing the ball, they will also cause a lot more issues for opposing defenses with their ability to score and fill up the box score in a lot of ways.
Dejounte Murray's return to the court will be huge after he missed all of 2018-19 with a knee injury. The guard is an excellent on-ball defender and can slow down either of these superstars. DeRozan can also use his length to force difficult shots for the opposing guards.
If the Spurs can play to their ability defensively, they can match up well with Houston and get back to controlling their division.
The biggest problem last season came on the defensive end as the squad was just 19th in defensive rating (111.2 points allowed per game), per Basketball Reference. It was the first time since 1997 the Spurs were below-average in this category.
Hopefully, Murray's return and some improved chemistry will lead to more success on that end.
San Antonio also has a lot of upside in rookie first-round picks Luka Samanic and Keldon Johnson, both of whom can play a significant role in the rotation during the upcoming season.
If DeRozan and Aldridge play at All-Star levels, this squad can earn a home series in the playoffs.
On the other hand, there is too much talent elsewhere in the Western Conference between the Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, Golden State Warriors, Nuggets, Rockets, Portland Trail Blazers and Utah Jazz. It will be a challenge just to make the postseason, and this could be the year San Antonio is on the outside looking in.
Record Prediction: 44-38