Has longtime San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich lost his golden touch? They haven’t made the playoffs in three years after 22 straight postseason appearances and five NBA championships. It’s also difficult to be optimistic about a squad that traded away one of its key players in Dejounte Murray.
Unfortunately, they are not the same old Spurs that struck fear against the opposition. Aside from not having a bona fide All-Star, the Spurs might not have enough firepower to match teams with high-powered offenses.
While defense and ball distribution will remain at the core of San Antonio’s system, it’s tough to see them cracking into the Western Conference’s playoff picture for 2022/23, and we’d expect to see some reasonably long odds for the Spurs when betting on the NBA this season.
The Spurs’ performance dropped drastically from 48 wins in 2018-19 to 32 a year later. Since then, the Spurs won 33 and 34 games over the next two years. Their last three seasons prove that consistency has been their biggest issue.
There will be occasional games wherein everything works for the Spurs and fans see a glimpse of the powerhouse team from a decade ago. However, sustaining that high level of performance has been challenging, especially with the injuries they’ve suffered over the years.
With Murray gone, Keldon Johnson will likely be their main option on offense. He finished the 2021-22 season with averages of 17 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 2.1 assists per game. Meanwhile, starting center Jakob Poeltl had numbers of 13.5 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks per game last season.
Devin Vassell also contributed 12.3 points and 4.3 rebounds per game. Other key players for the Spurs include Josh Richardson, Doug McDermott, Joshua Primo, and Tre Jones. The Spurs also selected Jeremy Sochan and Blake Wesley in the 2022 NBA Draft.
The San Antonio Spurs joined the now-defunct American Basketball Association in 1967 as the Dallas Chaparrals. They carried that name until 1973, except for the 1970-71 season when they changed to the Texas Chaparrals.
They became the San Antonio Spurs for three seasons before joining the NBA in the 1976-77 season. The Spurs have one of the best winning rates in NBA history at 60.5 percent. Aside from winning titles in 1999, 2003, 2005, 2007, and 2014, it helps that they’ve only missed the playoffs in only seven out of their 46 NBA seasons.
The Spurs have played their home games at AT&T Center since 2002. Its current seating capacity is 18,418. San Antonio’s fans are accustomed to winning. That’s why they cheer loudly for their squad and shout with their public address announcer if he calls for them to be loud. Despite the noise, the crowd during Spurs games is mainly respectful.
Their over two-decades-long playoff streak gave them some rivalry against most teams in the Western Conference. However, their most prominent rivalries were against the Phoenix Suns; fellow Texans, the Dallas Mavericks; and the Los Angeles Lakers.
They have lost to Phoenix in 2000 and 2010 but won four playoff series against them since 2002-03. Meanwhile, their intrastate battles with the Mavericks gave them four postseason series wins against two losses since 2000/01. Finally, they have a 3-4 series record against the Lakers since the 1998-99 season. Their last meeting came in the first round of the 2012/13 playoffs, wherein the Spurs swept the Lakers in four games.