Prior to a tip-off of their own game against the Utah Jazz, it’s a no bearing game for the Spurs. The Memphis Grizzlies and Phoenix Suns are winning midway to the third quarter via blowout as the Spurs need a loss either of these teams.
The 22-year playoff streak that starts from 1998 is over that included five titles on six tries. A dynasty that started by Tim Duncan with the help of David Robinson winning the first title in 1999, then the greatest run-in 2003 which started a Big Three era. Add another one in 2005 and redemption in 2007 while the 2014 quest cemented Tim Duncan’s legacy to be the top five players in the history of basketball.
A lot of competitive seasons for the Spurs run which they came up short in 2004, 2006, 2008, and 2016. Losing to the Miami Heat is one of the most devastating things but the redemption in 2014 made everything right.
When Tim Duncan retired in 2016, the Spurs still a contender with Kawhi Leonard in the helm. They made the Western Conference Finals in 2017 but an injury to the Spurs superstar ruined their chance.
The Spurs made a good move prior to the start of the season but it never works out when Marcus Morris change his mind, while the Spurs trade Davis Bertans to Washington Wizards. The Demarre Carroll experiment didn’t work out as the Spurs waived him.
The rotation for the team didn’t work out as they struggle to produce a win. They fall to 27-36 before the bubble game started. With tough losses against the Atlanta Hawks and Cleveland Cavaliers twice, Chicago Bulls and Detroit Pistons.
With a great showing for the Spurs so far in the bubble, they still come up short. A lesser game didn’t help, starters for a locked team in the playoff sit out. While the Spurs grind out for five of their current seven games compared to the Suns and Blazers.
But the good story here is the Spurs been efficient in the bubble. They have a top-eight offense and defense. Spurs DeMar DeRozan is showing like a leader that these young guys need. Derrick White is becoming a top two-way player, Dejounte Murray is improving on his chemistry with the team after a major injury. Lonnie Walker also a good passer while gaining his confidence. The Spurs get some quality minutes to Drew Eubanks and Quin Weatherspoon.
The big story is Keldon Johnson making a name for himself. He got an eye-popping performance multiple times.
It could be sad for the Spurs run, but a start to build another great team in the making. This “failure” serves as a motivation to make the team much better to be competitive.