The NBA has placed a "tentative" gift under our collective tree to be opened Dec. 25. Never mind the 149 days of coal sagging your stocking down, real games return via a triple-header on Christmas Day, and sometime soon thereafter the San Antonio Spurs will attempt to set aside the frustrations that swallowed a promising season a year ago.
Training camps and free agency will begin simultaneously Dec. 9, and a whirlwind of action will quickly commence. Prior to that burst of chaotic movement and preparation, let's take a slow breath to peer into where last year's top seed from the Western Conference will begin, as well as some questions they will face.
With the return of basketball comes the return of some bruised emotions for Spurs fans. 61 wins, only a game off the league's best record, set the stage for a return to postseason prominence; only the Memphis Grizzlies took the spotlight. Still, there is reason for hope as well as more than a few genuine concerns.
As sour as the li...