Golden State Warriors: Southwest Division Preview

Oct 31, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) is guarded by Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (23) during the first half of a game at Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 31, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) is guarded by Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (23) during the first half of a game at Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports /
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Golden State Warriors
Apr 10, 2016; San Antonio, TX, USA; Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry (30) is defended by San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker (9) and small forward Kawhi Leonard (2) during the second half at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports /

San Antonio Spurs

2015-16: 67-15

The San Antonio Spurs’ greatest regular season ever was largely overshadowed by the Golden State Warriors’ incredible run to history. Nearly one hundred years into the Gregg Popovich era, the Spurs are still functioning at a high level. But the team is going to look a little different this year.

Tim Duncan has retired. The greatest power forward of all-time will not be suiting up for the Spurs this year. And it’s going to be a little weird for everyone, but life will go on in San Antonio.

Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili are still there. LaMarcus Aldridge now has a year of experience under his Spurs belt. They signed Pau Gasol in free agency.

Of course, the Spurs will only go as far as Kawhi Leonard will take them. It’s his team now. And the reigning Defensive Player of the Year will look to take another step in his already-impressive career.

The Spurs are incredibly well-coached. They have veteran championship experience in Parker, Ginobili, Gasol, and Patty Mills. Also, because he deserves his own sentence, David Lee can bring that too. Kyle Anderson is an intriguing piece. Danny Green will need to go back to being the player he was a few years ago. Leonard is a legitimate star.

They have a two-time Defensive Player of the Year, but the team’s collective defense won’t be all that great. They have a lot of guys who struggle on that end of the floor. Their rim protection will be poor with the slow-moving Aldridge, Gasol, and Lee.

The Spurs will do what they always do and win. A lot. It’s what the machine Emperor Pop has created does. They’ll be a top-three seed in the West, barring a serious injury to Leonard.

2016-17 Prediction: 56-26

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