It’s been a rough go of things for the San Antonio Spurs in recent days. The NBA’s model of consistency has struggled to get stops on the defensive end of the floor, which has been a major reason why they sit at 11-13 on the year and are on the outside looking in on the cutthroat Western Conference’s playoff picture. Currently, the Spurs sit in 29th in adjusted defensive rating, with only the Cleveland Cavaliers behind them.
In the last week, these defensive issues have popped up in a trio of blowout losses. San Antonio fell 128-89 to Minnesota, 136-105 to Houston, and most recently, 139-105 to Utah on Tuesday night. There was a win over Portland sprinkled in there, but that was overshadowed by losing three games in a week by more than 30 points.
Things are so rough on that end of the floor that San Antonio actually joined an unfortunate group of teams, becoming the fifth squad in history to get blown out by at least 30 points three times in a week.
For a more Spurs-specific look at this, we go to this startling stat from Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press.
San Antonio has actually been a top-15 team on the offensive end of the floor, as its adjusted offensive rating sits in 13th league-wide through this point of the season. The issue is the Spurs just have not been able to stop teams on the other end of the floor, a stunning drop off for a team that was third in adjusted defensive rating last season.
Things like Dejounte Murray’s season-ending injury and trading Kawhi Leonard (who barely played last season due to his quad injury) were always going to hurt San Antonio on the defensive end of the floor, but it’s still crazy to see how far things have fallen. If things don’t change soon, it’s hard to see the Spurs keeping their 21-year streak of making the postseason alive.