3 Teams standing in the way of the Spurs returning to the playoffs this season

Kyrie Irving, Keldon Johnson
Kyrie Irving, Keldon Johnson / Tim Heitman/GettyImages
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After missing the playoffs each of the last four seasons—a franchise-record postseason drought—the San Antonio Spurs hope to end that streak next season. They will have the number one overall pick Victor Wembanyama to help their cause, but they will still face an uphill battle to return to the playoffs. After all, the Western Conference is still incredibly tough and likely even deeper than it was last season.

Factor in fewer teams looking to tank out West, and there are likely to be at least a dozen other competent teams for the Spurs to try and compete with in 2023–24. Fortunately, there is the play-in tournament, which will give San Antonio their best chance of making the postseason, but even then, there will still be fierce competition for the ninth, 10th, 11th, and 12th spots in the West. But which teams will potentially stand in the way of the Spurs and the playoffs?

There are at least three teams that could join the Spurs near the bottom of the West standings with expectations of the playoff tournament. Next, we'll take a look at the first of those teams, starting with a team that was one of the West's best teams last season before injuries caught up with them.

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