The San Antonio Spurs tip off the first of their final 10 games in Portland on Wednesday night, and they're projected to finish with 32 wins to match their 2019-20 season. While hovering in the lower 30s in win totals is far from where this team needs to be, it's an encouraging sign that the full rebuild likely won't lead to a further bottom-out before yielding positive results.
On paper, this year's squad can finish with their highest win total since 2018-19 by winning six of their final 10 games to close out the season and could even make the play-in tournament with such results.
Of course, in reality, they're finally playing a full season as opposed to the last two seasons, so they're actually on their lowest win pace since the days before Tim Duncan. They'd have to win nine of 10 to have a win percentage close to that of last season.
Our staff has already argued the merits between tanking and competing, and it will ultimately come down to the Silver and Black whether or not we have bonus Spurs basketball to watch come April 12th. For now, all we can do is sit back and enjoy the final 10 games, hoping for some signs of progress no matter what happens.
Play-in tournament or not, here are five things we'd love to see from the Spurs as they close out their 2021-22 campaign.
1. We want the Spurs to show some pride
I've only attended a handful of games this season, but I was unfortunate enough to be at the recent home game against the New Orleans Pelicans. Yes, it was the Keldon Johnson Bobblehead Night in which the Spurs went down by 40 points late in the third quarter.
While I was proud of the home crowd for stifling the urge to boo, it was tough to watch the Spurs on both sides of the court that evening. They'll have a chance at revenge against the Pelicans in New Orleans on Saturday, which might be the deciding game in a potential play-in bid.
I could honestly go either way with the play-in tournament argument at this point, but I'd love to see San Antonio show some more pride in matchups like the upcoming ones against New Orleans and Minnesota. They showed very little ability to adjust in each of those matchups, and I know Coach Popovich wasn't thrilled with either performance.
They might not come out of many of these upcoming games with wins, but I'd hate to see them lay down as they did when I saw them in person.