There was a time in which the San Antonio Spurs had impressive win streaks over just about every team in the NBA. Then Tim Duncan retired.
Now, the team is starting to transition from a holding pattern near the bottom of the Western Conference to a rough valley before trying to find another peak. In that process, some of the teams that used to suffer repeated losses to the Silver and Black have been able to take advantage and reverse the trend as the Spurs continue their rebuild.
The 2022-23 season probably won't offer many opportunities for the Spurs to really succeed as they truly want to, but they can at least tally some small victories. Heading into the season, they have current losing streaks of three or more games to 11 different NBA franchises.
From least to most losses in a row, here are the teams San Antonio should especially look to get revenge on when the season tips off this fall.
Five-way tie: Hornets, Cavs, Timberwolves, Knicks, Raptors (3 losses)
Several Eastern Conference teams have taken advantage of the Spurs without the Big Three in the past few seasons. San Antonio had won 14 of 15 against the Hornets until things started to turn around in 2019. The Cavaliers had lost six straight to S.A. before starting a streak of five wins in six meetings in December 2019.
The Raptors and Knicks weren't quite so unfortunate in recent history, but they still suffered marginal losing streaks against the Spurs until Tim Duncan and company departed. One Western Conference team, however, has used the last three seasons to at least make a dent in a ridiculously lopsided all-time series. The Minnesota Timberwolves now sit at 36 wins to the Spurs' 91 since their first meeting in 1989.
All of these teams are currently riding three-game streaks against the Spurs. Hopefully, they can at least snap one or two of these along the way to what will probably be some minimal success in 2023.