Spurs playoff hopes rapidly fading
It wasn’t a shock to see the Spurs hold off on making a move at the trade deadline but it was a bit of a surprise. According to former Spurs reporter Jabari Young, the team had been looking to move DeMarre Carroll and Marco Belinelli in order to re-tool for a playoff push. They had also reportedly had some interest in Rudy Gay but other teams thought they were overvaluing him.
The result, the same roster they started out the season with, with the same results. San Antonio opened the road trip by dropping five games in a row, including a frustrating pair of losses to the Sacramento Kings and Denver Nuggets. Before the Spurs set out on their trip around the conference we touched on how the road trip would make or break their playoff hopes. They’re not broken yet but it’s close.
They’re now 23-31, five games out of the eighth seed, and even with the New Orleans Pelicans. But while the Spurs struggle, the Pelicans are surging. Led by their once in a generation rookie, Zion Williamson, New Orleans has won six of their last eight and are pushing for the playoffs.
With seasoned veterans and a historically great coach, it’s too early to close the book on the Spurs playoff hopes but their margin for error is slim. We’re very close to seeing the legendary run of playoff appearances come to a close.
A silver lining, the Spurs could be lottery-bound for the first time in over two decades. This isn’t too strong of a draft class but there are still talented players to be found in the top-ten. Additionally, going back to the lottery for the first time since Tim Duncan was drafted could be exactly the motivation the team leadership needs to begin a full-scale rebuild.