Preseason prediction: Spurs to repeat as champs

AP Photo/Eric Gay

Editor's note: We asked our panel of NBA experts, "Who will win the NBA title?"

1. San Antonio Spurs (8 votes)

J.A. Adande, ESPN.com

Jon Barry, ESPN: They've gone every other year … and I think it's time. Their best players are in their prime. Why not?

Jemele Hill, ESPN.com: Moan and groan about this predictable outcome, but the Spurs will cement themselves as one of the great teams in NBA history and the best of the millennium.

Keith Lipscomb, ESPN.com Fantasy: What size ring will snugly fit on that thumb, Coach Pop and Timmy? This will be the last one for the Spurs dynasty as we know it.

Jack Ramsay, ESPN Radio

Chris Sheridan, ESPN.com: Who says they'll never repeat? Not me. But it still won't make them a dynasty. That bar is set too high (Celtics of the '60s, Bulls of the '90s).

Marc Stein, ESPN.com: Winning the West is like winning a mini-championship, with the Suns and Mavs -- and Jazz and Nuggets -- to outlast. So you pick the West winner to win it all without hesitation.

Kiki Vandeweghe, ESPN: Even though this is an "even" year. Though still in his prime, Duncan sees the end and will seize the moment.

2. Phoenix Suns (5 votes)

Henry Abbott, ESPN.com's TrueHoop

Chris Broussard, ESPN Mag

Mark Jackson, ESPN:
Best point guard in the business. The addition of Grant Hill makes a difference. But losing Kurt Thomas hurts them -- a great defender, and a great pick-and-pop guy.

Scoop Jackson, ESPN.com The Sports Fairness Doctrine: If the Red Sox can get two, why can't the Suns win at least one?

Jalen Rose, ESPN: This is their season to prove that their style of play can win a championship. A franchise with a rich history, but never a title. This is the year.

T-3. Dallas Mavericks (2 votes)

Chris Palmer, ESPN Mag: Would cap one of the most remarkable franchise turnarounds in league history since Cuban bought the team in 2000. Plus seal Dirk's place in the HOF.

David Thorpe, Scouts Inc.: One of the top three offensive players in the world, two excellent defensive players arriving this summer, and a team that got a much-needed wake-up call last season.

T-3. Houston Rockets (2 votes)

Ric Bucher, ESPN Mag: Truth is, there are six teams with a legit shot.

John Hollinger, ESPN.com: Betting on Adelman and T-Mac in the playoffs can be hazardous, but on paper these guys are loaded.

5. Detroit Pistons (1 vote)

Chad Ford, ESPN.com: I may be the only guy on the planet who thinks the Pistons can beat the Spurs in seven games. But if they make it that far, I think they avenge their defeat in 2005.