Sobering SI story predicting gloom for Spurs after Memphis series loss

The Spurs’ loss against Memphis  got the full analysis as the major topic in Chris Mannix’s “Inside the NBA” column in this week’s Sports Illustrated.

Mannix was in Memphis for Game 6 of the series with the Grizzlies and paints a gloomy picture for the Spurs’ future.

“They are the model franchise, owners of four championships in the last 13 seasons and the highest winning percentage in pro sports since 1997 (69.9 percent). But as the Spurs walked off the FedExForum floor in Memphis last Friday after a 99-91 Game 6 loss, they faced, for the first time in a long time, uncertainty. The Grizzlies exposed several weaknesses in San Antonio’s roster, flaws that are not easily fixed.”

Mannix describes the struggling play the Spurs received inside against Memphis’ strong interior tandem of Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph in the series. And he also highlights Richard Jefferson’s baffling playoff slump, where he scored 10 points in 106 minutes in the final four games of the series.

“You hate to say it,” an unnamed Western Conference scout tells Mannix, “but it looks like it’s time to rebuild.”

Gregg Popovich was adamant after the series ended that he’s not yet ready to do that. And after winning a Western Division-best 61 games this season it’s probably understandable he believes his team can contend again with its current roster.

But Mannix isn’t necessarily buying that.

“The core of the team — (Tim) Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker — is  good enough to stay in the playoffs, but without frontcourt help, San Antonio’s days as a contender are over,” Mannix wrote.

It will make for an interesting off-season for the Spurs as they wrestle with trying to solve those problems.  

I’m curious. Does Spurs Nation believe the rest of the country has been too quick in writing the obituary for the Spurs’ dynasty?

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