NBA.com posed an interesting question the San Antonio Spurs and their future as a “dynasty.”
Since the 1997 NBA Draft, the San Antonio Spurs’ place close to, or at the top of the league, was an annual constant. David Robinson, Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker and Kawhi Leonard either led these teams five, 10, 15 or 20 years ago, all of which made the playoffs.
After a poor start to the second half, and for most of 2018, the Spurs put themselves in playoff jeopardy. With losses to the Golden State Warriors and Oklahoma City Thunder, the Silver and Black are just a half game ahead of the No. 9 Utah Jazz and No. 10 Denver Nuggets. They have sole possession of No. 7, but by a thread.
It’s at the point where San Antonio realistically might miss the playoffs, which would be the first time since the 1996-97 season, when David Robinson missed most of it due to injury, and led to Tim Duncan at No. 1 overall in the 1997 NBA Draft. Playoffs and the Spurs seem intertwined and an assumed part of every season, especially with Gregg Popovich as the head coach.
NBA.com posed the question: “Could end of San Antonio Spurs’ dynasty finally be here?” If they miss the playoffs, it would press pause on a marvelous run through the late 1990’s and into the 2000’s, but there are things at play, too.
This season, similar to 1996-97, featured Kawhi Leonard out for all but nine games, even though he could return soon. However, LaMarcus Aldridge, a 2018 All-Star, was still there and led this team to a top-three spot in the West for most of the campaign. It’s far from the bottom of the barrel without the Admiral 21 years ago, which had a 37-year-old Dominique Wilkins, an injured Sean Elliott and veterans Avery Johnson and Vinny Del Negro.
Do you think the Spurs dynasty will end this season? Can Leonard save the day?