San Antonio Spurs Complete 2016-17 Season Preview

October 4th, 2016 by Dan Favale Leave a reply »

A sense of finality accompanied the San Antonio Spurs' second-round playoff exit at the hands of the Oklahoma City Thunder. It was not the typical, unsettling dose of closure felt by any NBA team that goes home without a title.

It was something greater, much more permanent.

"He asked if I wanted to play," Tim Duncan recalled of his interaction with head coach Gregg Popovich before the fourth quarter of Game 6, per the San Antonio Express-News' Jeff McDonald. "I said I always want to play."

The 40-year-old Duncan logged a postseason-high 34 minutes in a game that, despite a spirited fourth-quarter surge, effectively ended by halftime, perhaps forewarning what happened two months later. The man-myth affectionately known as The Big Fundamental retired in July, a full 19 years of service to his name, simultaneously without shock or warning.

It's well-known that San Antonio never once featured a winning percentage below .610 during those 19 seasons while never missing the playoffs. However, the last season the Spurs played without Duncan (1996-97), they recorded a franchise-record 62 losses, acco ...

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