San Antonio Spurs: The sun has set on a storied dynasty

NBA San Antonio Spurs Gregg Popovich (Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images)
NBA San Antonio Spurs Gregg Popovich (Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images) /

After missing out on the 50-win mark for two years and currently 10th place in the Western Conference, is the San Antonio Spurs dynasty finished?

Dear San Antonio Spurs fans,

There is no easy way to say it, but the time is over.

The die has been cast.

It is done.

So long are the days of Tim Duncan and David Robinson.

See you later, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker.

Big Shot Bob is a thing of the past.

The banners of five championships only hang with reverence.

All you are left with is the shadows of greatness and memories of decades past.

You are looking from the outside at today’s Western Conference standings. Five games below .500, I would have concerns too.

The duo of DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge are playing the best they can, but it does not seem to matter.

There is just no additional help. Rudy Gay is not the same player he was. Dejounte Murray has yet to prove that he is the point guard for the future. Even last year’s postseason darling Derrick White has shied away from taking that next step.

The team metrics do not paint a pretty picture either.

It is not so much that they are playing poorly, they are just not playing to the level that Spurs’ fans are accustomed to seeing.

They are 14th in the league in scoring, but 25th in the league in points allowed. The dichotomy between being average on offense and a below-average defense must not sit well with anyone involved.

Beyond the statistics, this just is not the Gregg Popovich way.

Up until 2017, his teams won at least 50 games and an extension on his 21-year playoff streak seems grim.

Further, he just does not appear to have the ability to bring out the best in his players this year.

It is not so much that he created a fluid ball movement and elite defense, but he did it with all sorts of characters.

It was irrelevant if it was Bruce Bowen or Malik Rose guarding the wing. Nor did it matter if Francisco Elson or Tiago Splitter was guarding the paint. Popovich created a system where everyone played to the strength that it demanded, regardless of the player who was in the role.

Nowadays, it just not seem the same.

Aldridge is not the same interior titan that The Admiral once was. DeRozan is a high volume shooter, who relies more on a mid-range game than anything else.

Because of the steep drop off in talent, everyone left is focused on shoot first and pass second.

The world was entirely different the last time the Spurs missed the playoffs. Titanic was the biggest movie, Michael Jordan was on his fifth ring, and the Backstreet Boys were all the rage.

Maybe they can salvage their season and continue their streak, but what would be the motive? Sure you want to fight each night, but when you know that your team might not be good enough to make the postseason and would certainly fall flat against early-season super-tandems, wouldn’t it be easier to play for the lottery?

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It is time to look to tomorrow, Spurs fans. The sun has set on this dynasty.