When you look deep into some of the San Antonio Spurs' team statistics in 2021, it's easy to see why they finished below .500. While they had a decent start to the season, eventually their bad habits got the better of them, which led to late-game collapses and a late-season sputter to the finish line.
The 2022 season will offer a fresh start for a team seeking to surprise the world by getting San Antonio back into the playoff picture for the first time since 2019. With the way the Western Conference looks, however, that's going to take serious improvement on both ends of the floor.
Essentially all of the national media has the Spurs finishing near the bottom of the league by the end of the season, which is perfectly understandable. They lost their best player and two key veterans and don't have any NBA All-Stars on the roster. Meanwhile, many other teams in the West have two, three, or even more proven stars ready to go.
To offset their lack of talent compared to other west powerhouses, the Spurs will have to rely on basketball intelligence, team cohesion, and Coach Popovich's genius. It would also greatly benefit them to not fall back into some of the bad habits they've had over the past couple of seasons.
Here are three things San Antonio needs to vastly improve upon from last season to give themselves a fighting chance in 2022.