The San Antonio Spurs have suffered great insult in the team's first-round NBA Playoffs series against the Memphis Grizzlies, falling to 3-1 after Monday night's second-half throttling at the FedEx Forum. That means San Antonio has to win three straight elimination games against a No. 8 seed, and that is something that seemed completely unlikely back in February, when the Spurs were 57-13.
But that's when the trouble first peeked out, as a six-game losing streak (most of it without Tim Duncan) robbed S.A. of momentum. Take a look.
The Spurs were 44 games above .500 at that point, cruising to the top record in the league. Duncan's injury led to a six-game losing streak, and the Spurs didn't recover in full in the regular season. Memphis has pushed that slide into the postseason, taking advantage of a team that looks tired and spent.
They talk about wanting a team that peaks in the postseason, even if it's not the best team in the regular season. I'd typically disagree, but looking at the Spurs' progression, it's pretty clear that by the end of the season, they had slipped for a long enough period of time that their standing as the league's best could be called into question.