The Spurs have had the decent start to the season.
Seven games in, they’re 5-2, including a franchise-record 4-0 start. They blew out the super-team Warriors last month, and Kawhi Leonard is averaging 26 points and five rebounds per game.
But that’s about the extent of the good news.
ESPN writer Marc Stein tweeted the following yesterday:
Something to monitor: In the 113 minutes LaMarcus Aldridge and Pau Gasol have played together, San Antonio has been outscored by 25 points.— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) November 7, 2016
That’s nothing to dismiss off hand. Acquiring Lamarcus Aldridge and Pau Gasol meant the Spurs making key roster moves the last two summers, so it’s troubling to see them bring the team down when they’re on the court together.
Then there’s this little nugget from Kurt Helin’s weekly power rankings, “The Spurs ... starters are more than 50 points per 100 possessions better this young season with Patty Mills playing instead of Parker.” Now we know Parker’s been struggling with a knee injury he received in the first game, but this is troubling.
It’s an issue for San Antonio, but the good news is that the season is only two weeks old. There’s plenty of time to tackle these obstacles, and it will be interesting to see how coach Gregg Popovich reacts to them.