They are getting older, but they still have Duncan, Manu, and Tony Parker. Not to mention Coach Pop and now Richard Jefferson. Contender? Yup. Good enough to knock off the Lakers? We'll see.
Defensively is where I have the biggest question mark for the team. Last year was a huge step back in team defense for the Spurs. Perenially one of the best defensive teams in the league, the Spurs in '09 were nothing but ordinary. Will the addition of Jefferson and a longer, stronger, defensive focused front court players turn that around? I'm not sure. I hope so, but this is the one thing the team will have to prove on the floor this year.
What are the goals for this team? Simply to stay healthy and get Tim Duncan his fifth ring. After all of the changes made in the offseason to put this team in position to compete for a championship, anything else would be seen as a failure. In order to stay healthy, Pop will have to be creative about giving some of the starters rest early and on back-to-backs to assure they are in primed for the stretch run after the all-star break.