The San Antonio Spurs have reached 50 wins per season for the last 18 seasons. Is this the season the streak ends?
As much as San Antonio Spurs fans may hate hearing this, I’m afraid this is the year the streak ends. My reasoning for this is pretty simple. There’s no current timetable available for superstar Kawhi Leonard, and the Spurs have the hardest remaining schedule in the NBA.
The calculation for the Spurs having the most difficult remaining schedule is based on their remaining games and combined winning percentage of those opponents.
The Spurs currently sit at an overall record of 35-24, which means they will have to go 15-8 in their last 23 games in order to reach 50 wins.
The Spurs started the season 26-12 but have struggled as of late due to numerous injuries as they are 9-12 in their last 21 games.
San Antonio will also meet up twice with the Oklahoma City Thunder who we know are extremely talented behind MVP Russell Westbrook and All-Star Paul George. These games will be huge for playoff seeding considering the Thunder are currently only 2 games behind the Spurs.
As you can see, the Spurs remaining schedule is nothing short of brutal. I can go on and on about it but the main reason this will be the end of the streak are the injuries the Spurs are dealing with.
How to deal with this schedule
Leonard has suited up in nine games for the Spurs this season. His season has been very hectic between returning midway through the season to hurting his shoulder. Then, the Spurs announcing he is out indefinitely again with the same injury that caused him to miss the start of the season.
This whole Kawhi situation is interesting to me because he’s had issues with his quad literally each of the last three years. The Spurs have to be very careful dealing with it because who knows what type of long term effect it can have on his career.
Given the Spurs history of taking a rather cautious approach to injuries in general and the unlikelihood anyone in the Western Conference besides Golden State or Houston make it to the NBA Finals, I don’t expect Leonard to be back this season.
The truth about the Spurs is that they are a team of excellent role players surrounding their two stars, Kawhi and LaMarcus Aldridge. Without one of those, they will struggle because they need both of them in order to be successful. One example of this is Patty Mills, who looks like a shell of the player he was last season.
Rudy Gay will reportedly be returning to action sometime following the All-Star break which will help the team. But then again, Rudy is coming off another foot injury and we know the injury history he has had there.
The Spurs will still be looking to make a run in the playoffs come April, but this is the season the streak will end.