The Spurs faced one of the few FIGASENI of the season with mixed results. Losses to the Pelicans and Grizzlies were hard fought and heartbreaking. Dante Cunningham and Bryn Forbes shot lights out, but couldn’t overcome a late push by the Pelicans, and the Silver and Black were denied the win by a swallowed whistle after a valiant fight against the Grizzlies. The win versus the Pacers showed what the Spurs could do with a dynamic duo of LaMarcus Aldridge and DeMar DeRozan clicking on all cylinders. But on the SEGABABA with the Bucks, the Spurs couldn’t sustain the comeback they started earlier in the game. Tonight the Spurs face the Chicago Bulls who are struggling themselves, so maybe things can get back on track.
Week 6 - Trying to Focus on the Positive: Any week in which a team has five games in seven nights (FIGASENI) is going to be hard. The positives are some excellent shooting from our wings and some flashes of classic Spurs defense. The negatives, well, the list below should say it all.
Last week: 1-3 (9-10) - 140-126 vs. Pelicans (loss); 104-103 vs. Grizzlies (loss); 111-100 vs. Pacers (win); 135-129 vs. Bucks (loss).
Tim MacMahon, ESPN - 19 (last week: 16)
It seems like the Spurs’ 6-2 start was a long time ago. San Antonio has lost eight of 11 games since then, and it’s reasonable to wonder how much longer coach Gregg Popovich can stick with Dante Cunningham as a starter. Cunningham has the Spurs’ worst net rating in that 11-game span by a significant margin, as San Antonio has been outscored by 16.2 points per 100 possessions with him on the floor.
John Schuhmann, NBA.com - 22 (last week: 16)
The Spurs caught a break with Victor Oladipo missing Friday’s game in Indiana, but they probably deserved it after getting hosed on a no-call at the end of their loss to the Grizzlies on Wednesday. You win some and you lose some, but the Spurs have lost eight of their last 11 games, with the league’s 28th-ranked defense over that stretch. The Pelicans (78) and Pacers (68) both registered season highs for points in the paint against the Spurs last week, and the Bucks’ 66 points in the paint on Saturday were their third highest mark of the season. With the Spurs having the league’s least efficient shot selection (only 53 percent of their shots have come from the restricted area or 3-point range), their margin for error is razor thin and they can’t afford being sub-par defensively.
Khadrice Rollins, SI.com - 14 (last week: 11)
The Spurs are 2-6 in their last eight games, and the two wins came against the hobbled Warriors and the Pacers without Victor Oladipo. The season started off hot in San Antonio, but now Gregg Popovich needs to address some of the uglier aspects of his squad, like the the perimeter defense that allowed Jrue Holiday, E’Twaun Moore, Mike Conley, Eric Bledsoe and Malcolm Brogdon to go off this week.
Reid Forgrave, CBS Sports - 16 (last week: 16)
The Spurs are just ... weird. Gregg Popovich, one of the best coaches of all time, has never had a defense this awful. The Spurs rank 21st in the NBA in defense rating. They lead the NBA in three-point percentage -- yet take fewer threes than all but one team.
The pundits are all down on the Spurs right now (and a week of 1-3 is good reason), but Pop says he sees them playing better— how are you feeling about the guys in Silver and Black? Let us know in the comments.