Spurs lose five in a row for the first time in the Tim Duncan era.
Posted by Matt Moore
When the Celtics ran away from the Spurs in the fourth quarter Thursday night, they were making history, they just didn't realize it. With the Spurs falling for the fifth time in a row, it marks the first five-game losing streak in the Tim Duncan era for the Spurs. Granted, it's not like Duncan actually saw those five losses as a player. He was injured for four of the five games.
Duncan was drafted in 1997. It took thirteen years for the Spurs to lose five in a row with Duncan as a member of the roster. That's stunning. It speaks simultaneously to the rampant success and consistency of Duncan's teams under Popovich and the randomness of luck. Duncan's missed his fair share over the years, though he has played in 78 games or more in eight of those seasons. For the Spurs to never have strung together five losses during that time is at both overwhelmingly impressive and downright bizarre.
There's something at once fitting and confusing that in what could end up being the most successful regular season of the Duncan era that the Spurs would also suffer their longest losing streak. The Spurs seemed so unbeatable a few months ago and are now not only stumbling to the finish, they've already fallen and are only dragging forward by the the velocity of their own fall. The hope will be that the postseason will bring a different team, a tougher team. But against the Celtics in the fourth quarter of this fifth loss in a row, it wasn't injury or matchups that doomed San Antonio. It was wide open jumpers from Kevin Garnett. It was defense.
Holding off a five game losing streak this long with Duncan on board is impressive. But there are other concerns besides the trivia-answer aspect here.