Even computers underrate the Spurs

ESPN released its predictions for the upcoming season yesterday, with a projecting the Spurs to finish third in the Western Conference with 54 victories, while an accompanying statistical analysis from has them taking fifth with 51.7 victories.

Albeit clinically done, it’s a somewhat puzzling result considering that would place them behind not only Denver but Minnesota, which is projected to improve by a whopping 16 games. We’ll just have to see how everything pans out — heaven forbid that a preseason prediction would be incorrect — but a look at BP’s past predictions with a different formula reveals that even computers tend to underrate the Spurs.


Projected wins, conference finish: 41.8, ninth. Actual wins, finish: 54, third.


Projected wins, conference finish: 52.1, second. Actual wins, finish: 50, seventh.


Projected wins, conference finish: 49.0, third. Actual wins, finish: 61, first.


Projected wins, conference finish: 38.3, third. Actual wins, finish: 50, first.

So that’s three out of four seasons in which BP has not only underestimated San Antonio’s performance, but drastically so.

What that means is anybody’s guess. Age is going to catch up to Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili at some point. And the fact that they overachieved by several victories according to their , another favored formula amongst the statisticians, means their win percentage will likely decrease from last season, when they would have won 62 games in a normal season.

Still, based on BP’s past results and simple common sense, it’s hard to imagine they’ll drop as much as expected. (If at all.)

Green, TP receive votes in NBA’s most improved balloting

Two Spurs received votes in the NBA’s balloting for the Most Improved Player, which was won by Orlando’s Ryan Anderson. 

Danny Green was tied for ninth with three first-place votes and 27 points. And Tony Parker was tied  for 25th with three points with one second-place vote.

Anderson claimed the balloting with 33 first-place votes and 260 points. Milwaukee’s Ersan Ilyasova was second. Minnesota’s Nikola Pekovic was third and Detroit’s Greg Monroe and Andrew Bynum of the Los Angeles Lakers were tied for fourth in balloting of sportwriters and sportscasters who normally cover the league.

The Spurs have had only one player in their history win the award since it was introduced in 1986. Alvin Robertson won the first MIP award in that first season.

T-wolves’ commercial jabs at Cuban

The Minnesota  Timberwolves have had an innovative advertising campaign as they attempt to rebrand the once struggling franchise into one of the NBA’s better young teams.

In the process, they have skewered some notable enemies around the NBA during a season-long series of commercials.

The most recent one is a spoof of 1960′s science-fiction television shows.

Two spacewomen describe an alien leader as appearing much like Minnesota coach Rick Adelman because of his power and mustache.

But when threatened by the leader’s death beam, one woman says that the alien leader instead looks more like Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.

Upon hearing that, the alien leader bellows “you take that back” as the commercial ends.

It’s a part of the team’s “Everybody is talking about the Timberwolves” campaign.

And it’s pretty clever in the usually staid world of sports commercials. 

Here’s the commercial, which appeared recently on You Tube.