The San Antonio Spurs’ recent struggles prompted a chuckle between actors Samuel Jackson and Spike Lee at the Oscar Awards.
And why wouldn’t it? The Spurs’ embarrassing 130-118 loss to the hapless New York Knicks Sunday night continued the Spurs’ spiral on their annual Rodeo Road Trip.
It was the Knicks’ first home win since Dec. 1. New York had lost 19 of its last 21 games and had the league’s second-worst record heading into the game. Their upset of the Spurs was much more improbable that Lee’s first Oscar he picked up later in the night.
The Knicks had lost 18 consecutive home games before Sunday night. Most fans — even Lee — expect the team’s braintrust is more interested in tanking for a better draft pick than winning many more games this season.
Spike Lee yelled “WE’RE TRYING TO TANK” 😭😭😭 pic.twitter.com/8SWU2dKl64
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) February 25, 2019
Heading into tonight’s RRT finale at Brooklyn, the Spurs have lost six of seven games on the road swing. It’s by far their worst record on their annual road swing since moving into the AT&T Center in 2002.
Once, defense was the hallmark of the Spurs franchise. But the Knicks’ offensive outburst marked the sixth team that has scored at least 120 points against the Spurs on the RRT.
As a point of comparison, the Spurs didn’t yield 120 points in any game in the first 4½ seasons Tim Duncan played with the team.
The Spurs are 33-28 at this point of the season. It’s their worst record at this point of the season since they were 15-46 in the 1996-97 season.
That lost season, Gregg Popovich’s first as the team’s coach, remains the tournament point for the franchise. After it ended with a that season, the Spurs claimed the No. 1 pick in the lottery and drafted Duncan.
To that point in team history, the franchise had never won a Western Conference championship. After that, they claimed five NBA titles.
Unfortunately for the team, nothing like Duncan appears available in the draft.
Or even remotely close.
They still have a good shot of making the playoffs, extending a 21-season streak that began in Duncan’s first season.
But nothing is sure. The website Basketball-reference.com has the Spurs with a79.4 percent chance of making the playoffs. They are currently pegged as the No. 7 seed in the West and would meet the Denver Nuggets in the first round, Basketball-reference.com reports.
It’s the worst season the Spurs have endured in a long time.
And even Hollywood is laughing at their misfortune,