The All-Star Break has come and gone and the San Antonio Spurs find themselves in the seventh spot of a super-talented Western Conference and just over halfway through their annual Rodeo Road Trip.
The trip hasn’t gone as smoothly as any Spurs fan would like as the silver and black have lost four out of five of the road trip games so far. Their record of 33 wins and 26 losses would be good enough for 6th place and put them pretty far ahead of the competition if they were on the Eastern Conference. However, in the West, they’re in the 7th seed just a game ahead of the Los Angeles Clippers in the 8th spot and only 3.5 games ahead of the Kings who are out of playoff contention.
This is about the time of the season when everyone starts to speculate what is going through the minds of Spurs’ management and coaching while they could theoretically slip out of the playoffs for the first time since 1997 to give themselves good odds at a higher draft pick.
While that worked in 1997 before getting the draft pick of a lifetime, Tim Duncan, the Spurs will try their best to make the playoffs once again. As fans, why would you want anything else?
This Spurs team has shown glimpses of greatness mixed in with bouts of low points. They’ve shown they have what it takes to compete against some of the best, and they’ve shown they can still fall to anyone. Through it all, they have talent.
It’s been said time and time again that his team has so many new faces. Their identity is still being figured out. If this team were a person, I’d say that last year, they were kids learning their way around things. This year, the team is a teenager with so much potential, much of it still unrealized.
For the fans and the critics alike who freak out any time the Spurs lose a game or put on a horrific performance, now is not the time to overreact. This team has a leader in LaMarcus Aldridge, some surprising young talent in Bryn Forbes and Derrick White, and more consistency than they’ve seen in the last few years from DeMar DeRozan and Rudy Gay. They’ve got a deep bench that isn’t afraid to shoot, and they’re all fairly young.
The time to worry isn’t now. If they don’t make the playoffs, it still won’t be time to worry. The Spurs have arguably the best management and coaching staffs in the league and they’re working on constructing something that will last.
As the Spurs resume their post-All-Star break schedule tonight on the road in Toronto, it’ll be important to keep those things in mind. With all of the success the Spurs have enjoyed over the last two decades, let’s just hope the fans last to see the follow through.