The San Antonio Spurs Are Struggling, But Things Aren't That Bad
This year, between the Spurs' varying injuries, Richard Jefferson's subpar aggression and performance, DeJuan Blair's fouls and surprising losses, you'd imagine that the Spurs were having a dismal year akin to the rebuilding Detroit Pistons. Looking around the internet and reading about the Spurs you might feel as though this is a lost year and that despite Tim Duncan's quiet individual dominance, the Spurs are in trouble. They might be. But let's hold that thought a moment, pull in the reigns, and look a bit closer.
The Spurs are 25-18, good enough for a 58.1 win percentage, 2nd place in the Southwest Division (traditionally one of the strongest in all of basketball), and a 6th seed in the playoffs. Although one might complain that the Spurs are better than their record shows, this appears to be great positioning come playoff time. With a few wins, the Spurs obtain a first round matchup against the injury-riddled and inexperienced Portland Trailblazers. This could shoot the Spurs straight into the second round. Now, of course, anything less than a championship is unacceptable in San Antonio. So how about that second round?
It doesn't matter who the Spurs play in the second round. Whoever they may play will be tough. But, for now, we should ignore the playoffs and focus on how the Spurs are doing in the regular season. Because, after all, if they keep losing there might not be a first round, either.
I argue that the last six games for the Spurs are representative of how people have been perceiving San Antionio all year long, despite their winning record. They have gone 1-5, winning a sole away game at New Orleans. Hardly a major triumph. The other losses are three home games against Houston, Utah, and Chicago, and road games against surging Memphis and Charlotte teams.Continued on the next page