John Hollinger likes the Spurs' chances: "Tim Duncan and Tony Parker both look great, so it says here the league's model franchise has to be the odds-on favorite to claim its fourth ring of the Duncan Era. Only potential snag is age on the wings with Bruce Bowen, Barry and Finley."

My inclination is to agree that San Antonio has the best team in the league, but "odds-on favorite" doesn't follow from this. The West is so much better than the East that even if you like the Spurs' odds in a Finals matchup, the ex ante odds of San Antonio getting to the Finals have to be judged considerably worse than Miami's. That, I think, makes the Heat the preseason favorite even though San Antonio's better. It's also worth keeping in mind that I see a Texas-sized x-factor in the Rockets. They probably won't stay healthy, but faced with Yao-Battier-McGrady-Wells-Alson on the floor, I wouldn't feel too comfortable offering "you don't have a real power forward" as my counterargument.