The San Antonio Spurs made wholesale changes to their roster this offseason.
They added all-star DeMar DeRozan and center Jakob Poetl in exchange for Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green, lost Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, and added a few new pieces including Marco Belinelli, Dante Cunningham and rookies Lonnie Walker and Chimezie Metu.
Despite the fact that a Spurs team with an injured Kawhi Leonard made it to the playoffs last season, they aren’t heavily favorited to make a deep run and also seem like they could miss the NBA playoffs altogether according to betting odds.
If you enjoy live betting at 888Sport New Jersey, you may have noticed that the Spurs are currently projected as an eighth-place team by many sports books and their chances at winning a championship range from slim to none, as noted by ESPN.
So far this season, the Spurs are 2-1, with wins over the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Lakers, who are currently looked at as finishing with the seventh seed in the West, also have a new-look team, with perennial MVP candidate LeBron James now in tow, along with several new faces joining the young core of Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, Kyle Kuzma, and Brandon Ingram.
The Lakers added to their playoff experience by signing Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson, and Javale McGee.
The Lakers and Spurs battled it out last night to an overtime win for San Antonio, but the teams will do battle once again on Saturday night in the Alamo City.
One position the Spurs are currently thin at that may affect their chances of making the playoffs is at point guard. They lost second time all defensive team member Dejounte Murray in preseason with an ACL injury that is expected to keep him out all season. Many expected that this season would be a breakout season for the young Murray, whose defense and rebounding will be sorely missed.
To make matters worse, they lost his backup, Derrick White, to an injury in preseason as well for the first six to eight weeks, and their depth was hurt even more with the loss of the rookie Walker, who can play both guard positions.
The Spurs are using sharpshooter Bryn Forbes as the starting point guard now, but he’s really playing out of position since he’s more of a spot-up shooter. Because of that, the Spurs are utilizing DeMar DeRozan as a ball-handler. He averaged five assists per game in Toronto last season and had double-digit assists in Los Angeles last night.
The beginning of the season could be rough for the Spurs until they get some of their depth back at guard, but having won two of their first three games against playoff contenders, there have certainly been several positives to take away.