The San Antonio Spurs have persisted through the ups and downs of their first comprehensive rebuilding season. From numerous nagging injuries to the endless growing pains of inexperienced prospects, it's no surprise this ball club has plummeted to the bottom of the standings as they sputter to the finish line of another grueling 82-game marathon.
Though some fans have understandably tuned out during the final stretch of the schedule, there are still a handful of things worth monitoring before the Silver and Black head for a crucial offseason. Their latest blowout loss to the Milwaukee Bucks was tough to watch, but they made franchise and league history on Wednesday night. Why not recognize it?
It might be better to start with the negative and end on a positive note so we can pass our crying off as happy tears.
San Antonio became the first team in NBA history to lose seven games by at least 35 points in a single season, passing up the 2017 Lakers and 2021 Magic for that inglorious accomplishment. Does this tell us anything about the Spurs? Not really, especially considering nearly all of these one-sided affairs have come with several significant starters on the sidelines.
That doesn't change the fact the Spurs are the sole record holders of one of the worst marks in basketball, though they are undoubtedly better than that eyesore on their resume suggests. When San Antonio has been 100% healthy, they have defeated legitimate playoff teams like the Heat, Sixers, Nets, Knicks, Nuggets, and Cavaliers.
Keeping with that more upbeat theme, how about we explore the chipper achievement the Spurs pulled off in Milwaukee?
Head Coach Gregg Popovich trotted out the youngest lineup in franchise history when he sent out Devin Vassell, Dominick Barlow, Jeremy Sochan, Blake Wesley, and Malaki Branham with 11 minutes left in the first half. He experimented with that group for 54 seconds before Barlow picked up his second foul, but it reaffirmed his commitment to the youth movement.
That five was a combined average age of 20 years and 156 days. For the sake of perspective, that is younger than every starting lineup remaining in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.
While all the spry legs in San Antonio haven't done much to help them win many matchups this season, youth is an invaluable currency for rebuilding organizations. Vassell, Sochan, Branham, Wesley, and Barlow have shown a wide array of skills that could one day make them impactful contributors to a contender, and the Spurs should continue betting on their potential.