Like clockwork, the San Antonio Spurs officially clinched a 22nd straight playoff berth on a Saturday evening in which they didn’t even play.
To quote the late great Benjamin Franklin – “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death, taxes and the San Antonio Spurs reaching the playoffs.” At least I think that’s a direct quote, but let’s not linger on that one.
The silver and black will be represented in the NBA postseason for the 22nd straight season following the Houston Rockets’ 119-108 victory over the Sacramento Kings. Led by second-year standout point guard De’Aaron Fox, the Kings have put together their best season this decade and will narrowly miss the win total necessary for a bid in the playoffs.
It’s not often that a team can make history without participating in a game, but San Antonio managed to tie the record for consecutive playoff appearances set by the Syracuse Nationals/Philadelphia 76ers franchise that reached the postseason every year from 1950 to 1971.
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In their first season since trading previous franchise star Kawhi Leonard to the Toronto Raptors, doubters arose during the Summer of 2018. Many projections saw the Spurs falling out of the playoff race entirely despite adding a bonafide star in DeMar DeRozan as well as a capable role player in Jakob Poeltl. Time after time, head coach Gregg Popovich proves that great leadership and strategy will always trump star power.
At this point, the Spurs will focus on their final six games as an opportunity to improve playoff seeding and snatch a more favorable opponent in the first-round. Tied with Oklahoma City at a 44-32 record, San Antonio is two games behind Utah for the fifth seed and 1.5 games behind the Clippers for the sixth seed.
Fans in San Antonio are hungry for a playoff run after last season’s first round exit at the hands of the eventual champions. This impassioned group of players has shown a drive and ambition to achieve something great when focused and operating as a collective.
We don’t know what version of the Spurs we’ll see in the playoffs, but it’ll certainly be a joy to watch San Antonio duke it out against the best of the West come mid-April.