The Spurs entered the playoffs with a first place finish in the West thanks to a 50-16 record and a 10-game winning streak to close out the year.
The Spurs cruised through the first two rounds of the playoffs winning eight straight games and pushing their undefeated mark to 20 consecutive games. In the conference finals they jumped on top of the Thunder 2-0 and looked primed for another trip to the final.
However, the Thunder shocked the world and the Spurs as they responded with four straight wins, knocking San Antonio out of the post-season.
Downright Offensive - In the past, the Spurs won with their relentless defence, forcing opponents into bad shots and capitalizing on their mistakes. Blessed with one of the best coaches in the league in Greg Popovich, the Spurs have transitioned to a more offensive club, ranking as the second highest scoring team last season, averaging 103.7 points per game. Tony Parker has become the energy source that powers the Spurs' attack and despite an off-season scare involving his eye, Parker shows no signs of slowing down.
The Old Guard
How many miles are left in the tank for some of the Spurs aging stars.
Come Together - Watching the Spurs during their 20-game win streak was like watching a well-oiled machine as they moved in perfect time around the court, generating easy bucket after easy bucket. They led the league in field goal and three point percentages during the regular season, mostly due to their ability to get open looks. With very little turnover on the roster, that chemistry should remain intact.
Keep On Duncan - He may not be the player he once was, but Duncan has his game completely figured out at this point and he has become a highly efficient veteran. Every once in a while Duncan dial's it up and drops a big game, however that's not what San Antonio expects of him any longer. Duncan is a calming figure on the court and in the locker room and he sets the tone for the team's success.
Father Time - A championship window doesn't normally stay open forever and yet the Spurs have managed to compete year-in and year-out. Part of that is the continuity Duncan and Popovich bring to the team, but it's also been a core of players peaking together. Duncan (36) and Manu Ginobili (35) are approaching the end of their careers and especially in Ginobili's case, he is becoming more limited as his body breaks down. With fewer minutes for their aging stars, the Spurs will need to find players to help carry the load.
Get ready for the season with the latest from TSN.ca.
The aging Spurs are still firmly in the top 10.
Tony Parker is a good source of points and assists and is the top Spur at 40th overall.
Post Presence - Outside of Duncan, San Antonio lacks a big man who can set up down low and go to work. In fact, there really isn't anyone on their roster who even projects to be a reliable low-post option. If Duncan misses a significant amount of time, it would put a huge burden on Parker to generate scoring.
X Factor: Kawhi Leonard
Leonard's rookie season couldn't have gone much better. He impressed Popovich enough to earn regular minutes, eventually cracking the starting lineup. He showed that he could be a strong defender against some of the best wings the league has to offer and he even contributed as an outside shooter. This year the Spurs will likely expand his role and how he responds will impact how deep of a playoff run the team makes.
What to Expect
As the season starts, the Spurs will round up the old crew for another run at a title. The competition in the West is as fierce as ever, with the young Thunder getting better with age and the Lakers restocking the shelves with Dwight Howard and Steve Nash. Don't count out the Spurs, who are such a well-coached and selfless team that they will do whatever it takes to keep the club playing well into the spring.
Tim Chisholm's Offseason Grade
All the Spurs did this summer is re-sign three-fifths of their starting lineup (Tim Duncan, Boris Diaw and Danny Green) and call it a day.
They made their big roster moves last year when they acquired Diaw and Stephen Jackson before securing the West's best record and steamrolling to the Conference Finals before being thwacked by the Oklahoma City Thunder.
It wasn't a glamorous offseason but the Spurs didn't need it to be.
They are still one of the top teams in the league and the only negative you can hurl at them is that their immediate competition (the Lakers, Heat and Celtics) got better.
Still, if it ain't broke...