For most teams, poor showings against other title contenders would be a reason to raise the red flag for both the organization and the head coach.
When you have a fifteen year streak of reaching the playoffs, as Gregg Popovich and the San Antonio Spurs do, you are able to take a few liberties that are not afforded to others.
As was shown by Sunday’s game versus the Miami Heat, Popovich is more than willing to concede a regular season game that has gotten out of hand in order to ensure that “the Big Three” of Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Duncan are rested for the post season.
As the NBA Finals showed, the coaching staff is more than able to make adjustments to what another team does during a playoff series.
A lot is being made of the Spurs’ struggles versus the elite teams in the NBA this season while the 31-2 record they have against the other teams in the league is being quickly put to the side.
Lost in the mix is the fact that three of the Spurs’ starters are missing time due to injuries to Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green and Tiago Splitter. Missing your starting center, top perimeter defender and top sharp shooter is enough to make the uphill climb against other elite teams that much harder.
The bench is given a golden opportunity by having chance to audition for key roles for the playoff push.
If the Spurs were at full strength and having difficulties, then there may be a cause for concern.
So Spurs’ fans, please shuffle yourselves away from the ledge and hold off on placing the team in next season’s draft lottery.