On the Spurs, who are in the hunt for their second title in three seasons:
"Their chances are very, very good because they have more balance on the perimeter this year. Derek Anderson has been productive since he signed as a free agent, and Antonio Daniels gives them scoring off the bench. Then they've got Sean Elliott and Avery Johnson working their way back from injuries and a big-game player in Terry Porter. That balanced scoring is going to take a lot of pressure off Tim Duncan and David Robinson in the post when teams trap and double-team them. I would put the Spurs right behind the Trail Blazers in the West, but Duncan has to start making his free throws again."