Prior to the 2010 season, the San Antonio Spurs failed to capture the NBA crown for two straight seasons. Known for their dedication to winning, the Spurs made moves last summer and tried hard to put together a team they believed could capture another title.
For the first time in years, the Spurs went on a spending spree and went over the luxury tax to acquire Richard Jefferson and Antonio McDyess.
Jefferson was expected to provide the Spurs an offensive threat at the small-forward position while adding some youth and athleticism. McDyess was signed to be Tim Duncan’s side-kick in the post.
Expectations were high.
But as the season went on, it was apparent the team was lacking in chemistry and couldn’t get into the right rhythm. The integration of new players into the Spurs’ system proved to be a tough task for coach Gregg Popovich.
Jefferson in particular was a major disappointment. He never fit into the Spurs’ scheme and at best, he only showed some flashes of why he was acquired by the Spurs.
Because of their early struggles and their inability to stay healthy (Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili suffered multiple injuries throughout the 2010 season) some people doubted the Spurs’ chances to even make it to the playoffs.
Nevertheless, with Ginobili’s resurgence, George Hill rising into the occasion when Parker was hurt and the team making a strong run towards the end of the season (beating quality opponents along the way) gave Spurs fans a glimmer of hope for a deep playoff run.
In the first round of the post season, the Spurs upset the second seeded Dallas Mavericks in six games. However, the Spurs were ousted from the playoffs by the Phoenix Suns, losing in four games to none in the Western Conference semi-finals.
This begs the question, “Was 2010 season a bust?”
When you talk about consistency and standard for basketball excellence, it’s not a stretch to say the Spurs have been the “gold standard” in the NBA for more than a decade. Because of such a high standard, anything less than a championship is considered a failure in San Antonio. So to answer the question if the 2009-2010 Spurs’ season was a bust, in my opinion — yes.
I say “yes” because despite their player moves to make it back to the top, they still came up short. Make no mistake about it, with the player additions, along with Ginobili resting in the summer prior to the start of the season, the team was considered the biggest threat to the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference.
Again, expectations were high.
The bottom line is the Spurs’ failure to win the title could not be blamed on one factor. It was an assortment of factors. Jefferson never became the player he was expected to be, Parker was not healthy for most part of the season, Duncan’s extended minutes in the regular season caught up to him, Ginobili’s nose injury came at a very bad time and coach Popovich’s ever changing rotation were some of the glaring issues the Spurs were dealt.
Perhaps “bust” may be too strong of a word. Perhaps “inconsistency” would be better but with expectations riding high, anything less than an NBA title with the make-up of the 2009-2010 team, could be viewed as a “bust.”
All NBA teams need a little luck to win it all. Unfortunately the Spurs never got their breaks. Their early season struggles had a lot to do with their own undoing. Remember, prior to the 2009-2010 NBA season, many believed they could win it all and coach Popovich even said “If we don’t win it, I should probably be fired, without a doubt.”
Expectations were high and in the end were never met.
What do you guys think? Do you agree that the Spurs’ season was a bust? Send us your thoughts.