Spurs' losing streak, longest in 22 years, puts playoff run at risk

By lee parkah
Nov. 22, 2019

San Antonio last missed postseason in 1996-97 -- Popovich's first year

Forgive Gregg Popovich for not being in much of a mood to discuss the current state of the San Antonio Spurs.

The number 22 became pertinent to the plight of the San Antonio Spurs after they lost their seventh straight, falling 138-132 to the Washington Wizards.

Fact is, he’s just not used to losing like this.

Here’s how long it’s been since the Spurs dropped seven games in a row, the way they now have after DeMar DeRozan, LaMarcus Aldridge and the rest of the team were beaten by the lowly Washington Wizards 138-132 on Wednesday night: You have to go all the way back to the 1996-97 season to find such a rut for Pop and Co.

The club’s current seven-game freefall matches its longest in 22 years, dating back to Gregg Popovich’s first season as head coach, when the Spurs suffered through skids of seven and eight games. Perhaps most alarming is that San Antonio’s NBA-record tying run of 22-straight postseason appearances might now be in jeopardy of ending in the ultra-competitive Western Conference.

The Spurs certainly worked behind the scenes to prevent this outcome.

Seeking an offensive spark after countless slow starts through the first 15 games, Popovich shook up the starting lineup Wednesday, opting for veteran reserve Patty Mills at point guard over DeJounte Murray, in addition to inserting Jakob Poeltl with the first team. 스포츠토토 The move netted a quick return, as San Antonio scored a season-high 69 points in the first half to go into intermission ahead six points.

San Antonio started off this season well enough, going 4-1. Since then, though, the Spurs have gone 1-9, so their skid has put them at 5-10 entering Friday night’s game at the Philadelphia 76ers.

They hadn’t lost seven straight since Feb. 23 to March 5, 1997, under Popovich, and the last time they had a longer drought was eight defeats from Nov. 15-30, 1996, under Bob Hill. It was during the next month that Popovich, the team’s general manager, fired Hill and moved from the front office to the sideline.

San Antonio finished 20-62, won the draft lottery and took Duncan with the No. 1 overall pick.

The rest, as they say, is history.