The Argument that the San Antonio Spurs failed
Early season forecasts never change, but expectations are always relative to how the team fares throughout the year. And speaking of forecasts, which the San Antonio Spurs easily eclipsed, it should be noted that the team outlook swung towards becoming loftier as they started gaining success.
COVID-19, injuries and all, it is inarguable that the Spurs simply fell off a cliff from their inspiring play early on. While there were loads of negative factors that had them eventually tumbling, the Silver and Black were a solid 22-16 in mid-March. One can argue that they shot themselves in the foot with what came after that impressive start.
The most perplexing thing about San Antonio this season was their putrid play at home. At 14-21, the Spurs tallied their worst home record since the landmark 1996-97 season in which the team only won 20 games. Combine that with their conversely winning record on the road, at 19-17, and this will be an ample prompt for a lot of what-ifs on the season.
Yet for all the trials they encountered, the Spurs didn't help themselves. While Pop is right in cutting the team some slack in the spirit of empathy amidst an exhausting schedule, large blown leads, playing down to competition and questionable coaching decisions have plagued the Silver and Black left and right in their freefall stretch.
Any team that starts off 22-16 and ends up with a 33-39 record will almost certainly have fans barking loud, and for good reason. No one chalked the Spurs in as contenders, but going from a solid playoff contender to honorary play-in additive defeats the context of how and why they fell from grace in the latter part of the season.
And to add insult to injury, the San Antonio Spurs, in typical edgy fashion, banked on midseason continuity and failed to maximize their expiring pieces to net some good returns for the likes of DeMar DeRozan, Rudy Gay, and Patty Mills.
Long story short, while they had relative success early on, their dispiriting decline exacerbates issues and solidifies why this season should be counted as a failed one.