Despite most observers’ assumptions that the Spurs are no longer in the title hunt, Pop thinks otherwise. Emphatically. From the Express-News: “So why is Gregg Popovich smiling? And why, in the lead-up to training camp, is he saying things like this: ‘We think we have the potential to be fantastic — and ‘fantastic’ means have an opportunity to win a championship.’ Splitter, for one, will help as near 7-footers with basketball sense often will. Anderson is considered a borderline lottery talent who dropped to the Spurs at No. 20. Maybe Neal can approximate what the artist formerly known as Big Shot Roger Mason accomplished in 2008-09. For further reason to hope, however, the Spurs need only look within. The Spurs can be better, if a handful of returning players are. Somewhere near the top of that list — Jefferson. Yes, Jefferson disappointed last season after arriving in a trade from Milwaukee. He averaged 12.3 points — most for a Spurs’ small forward in more than a decade — but was wildly inconsistent on both ends of the floor. The Spurs are doubling down on a bounce-back from Jefferson this season. They are putting a lot of eggs in the RJ basket. ‘His dedication and development this summer are going to be one of the most important things for our success,’ Popovich said Thursday.”
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