In a season where a team carries the best record in basketball for much of the year then finishes up having the number one seed in its conference, then loses to the eighth seed for one of the only few times in NBA history, it's safe to say it was a failed season for the San Antonio Spurs.
There's much to point to in terms of dramatic developments both positive and negative. The Spurs changing their style of play to a guard-dominated perimeter team resulted in the Spurs leading the NBA in threepoint percentage and lots of wins. That was arguably a overdue positive development for which Spurs fan's will remember most about this season besides the disappointing playoff exit.
That early playoff exit can be pinned on two factors that are outside of having obvious roster deficiencies: injuries and the complete unraveling of Richard Jefferson.
Neither of those things are what you want staring you in the face when you are playing a young hungry team that tanked the last few games of the season to put themselves in a position to draw you in the playoffs because they knew they could beat you.
When the Spurs handed the keys to the offense to Tony Parker and Manu Ginobilli, the team took off like a rocket. The Spurs started off the season on a historically great pace. At one point they were on pace for 70 wins and it was a realistic possibility that they could reach that mythical 70 win level.
Parker and Ginobilli were slicing up defenses and getting open looks for everyone. No one was happier about this development then Matt Bonner who led the league in three point percentage because of it. Gary Neal's transition to the NBA from being a basketball nomad in various euro-leagues was made much easier because he was always put in a position to get a great shot because of the defense being constantly off balance from the ability of the Spurs guards to get into the lane and draw guys in.
Everything was working for the Spurs for much of the regular season due to this offensive focus shift. But not everything came up roses for the Spurs. There was certainly a dark side for the Spurs this season, and it emerged just before playoff time.