San Antonio Spurs News

San Antonio Spurs: Goodbye playoffs, hello lottery pick, for now?

By Rob Wolkenbrod
OAKLAND, CA - MARCH 8: Head Coach Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs looks on during the game against the Golden State Warriors on March 8, 2018 at ORACLE Arena in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - MARCH 8: Head Coach Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs looks on during the game against the Golden State Warriors on March 8, 2018 at ORACLE Arena in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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The San Antonio Spurs dropped yet another game. This time, it caused them to slip out of the playoff picture.

This late into an NBA season, it’s a rare and unforeseen, to see the San Antonio Spurs out of the playoff picture. About two months ago, the Spurs sat securely at No. 3 in the Western Conference, but each loss narrowed the window, which allowed other teams to rise and them to fall down the ladder. From No. 4 to 5 to 7, and, finally to No. 10, after Monday’s loss to the Houston Rockets.

Sure, the Spurs now sit just a half-game back from re-entering the playoff picture, but with a 3-11 record since Feb. 1, it’s time to wonder if the in-season decline continues for the rest of the season, Kawhi Leonard or not. Especially since this team lost with LaMarcus Aldridge in the lineup, whether or not he was banged up.

Tuesday’s game vs. the Orlando Magic might be the “easiest” left on the Silver and Black’s schedule, record wise, because, after that, it’s the New Orleans Pelicans, Minnesota Timberwolves and Golden State Warriors in a three-game stretch; the Washington Wizards, Utah Jazz and Milwaukee Bucks follow in the next set of three. It’s a troubling circumstance that may be too much for the Spurs to overcome.

Quick look at the #NBA standings… #Spurs now 10th in the West pic.twitter.com/98uTrpj0Xo

— Jabari Young (@JabariJYoung) March 13, 2018

There’s more than enough time to make up this minuscule ground, for now, with a full team possible by the end of the week. If not, might fans be in for the Spurs’ first lottery entry since 1997? It’s a brief history, but one that only includes David Robinson (No. 1 in 1987), Sean Elliott (No. 3 in 1989) and Tim Duncan (No. 1 in 1997). Outside of that, San Antonio never walked into a draft with a lottery selection. So, if they do not make the playoffs, the first 14 picks will have a unique look and someone to represent the organization the night the order gets revealed.

Next: Top 25 players in Spurs history

Only 15 games remain, so, again, the Spurs can get out of this predicament and join the playoff picture for mid-April. What direction will they go to close the season?

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