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What We Learned from the Spurs loss to the Cavs

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Remember when the Spurs clinched a championship in Cleveland? This game was the opposite of that

San Antonio Spurs v Cleveland Cavaliers Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

The Spurs couldn’t even put us out of our misery early, they had to go ahead and take this thing out one extra frame to decide that they did in fact want to lose this game. What a nightmare. You try to have a good attitude about these things at the moment but, man, this was just one of those games that makes you walk outside, look up at the clouds, and really start taking stock of your life choices.

Okay, it’s not that dramatic. If you are operating from the premise that we are now fully swimming through the choppy waters of a very lost season, then this game doesn’t really even register as a blip on the radar. A loss to a bad eastern conference team? Shoot, the Spurs had an even worse one of those like three days ago. This is nothing new and getting worked up about it helps nothing and no one.

This was a bad loss though, even by the Spurs unfortunately lofty standards for bad losses this season. Forget the score or the opponent or even the, sigh, remote playoff implications of this one. This was bad basketball to watch. The players looked disinterested and tired. The crowd wasn’t really into it. Instead of creating anything positive, it looked like both teams were content to simply thrive on their opponents missteps instead. It almost felt like watching an exhibition game. You could laugh at it if you wanted to, but even that seems like more attention than this thing deserved.

There we’re probably some bright spots in here somewhere if you really want to go digging around. Dejounte Murray continued his perplexing “sometimes great, sometimes not” routine. Derrick White had some nice moments. Keldon Johnson looks like he’s earning some real minutes down the stretch this season. It was nice. These are all nice things. Did they make this loss any more fun? They did not.

Look, in the grand scheme of things, I hope no one really remembers that this game happened. I hope it just fades from our collective memory like one of those bad dreams you have after eating too much spicy food. You know the ones where you wake up in your bed all disoriented and sweaty but you don’t know why? Then you’re getting ready for work, trying to figure out what was so scary about it while brushing your teeth and mumbling to yourself stuff like, “wait, was Andre Drummond there?”

This loss wasn’t traumatic. It didn’t say anything deeper about the direction of the Spurs franchise at large, it just kind of...happened. We all saw it happen, we’ve acknowledged it’s existence, and now we can just move on with our lives. I think that’s the best course of action. Hopefully we can all take a nice long break and regroup before seeing what the rest of the season has in store for us.

What’s that? They play again on Tuesday? Against the Mavericks? On national television, you say?

Yikes.

Takeaways:

  • Someone should give the Spurs credit for managing to forge a comeback in this one after, once again, going down by as much as 17 in the first quarter. They could’ve given up (like they did in Brooklyn) but they didn’t and, like I said, someone should really give them credit for that. It’s not going to be me, but if someone did that for them I think it would be nice.
  • This season has gotten so laughably out of control at this point that I don’t think I’ve really registered how hilariously stacked the injury report is at the moment. LaMarcus Aldridge and Jakob Poeltl being out of the lineup is a really big deal! Like, I know that we know this and it isn’t a surprise, but it’s almost cruel that the Spurs are even still being asked to go out there on the court. “Excuse me, Mr. Commissioner? Yes, hi, we don’t actually have any tall players anymore so if we could just skip the next couple game that’d be really helpful, thanks.” Throw in the fact that Lonnie Walker IV was out for the night too and it’s genuinely hard to even figure out how the Spurs were supposed to do cobble together a game plan for this one. Injuries are bad and dumb and, in my opinion, we should just get rid of them.
  • Poor DeMar DeRozan. I hope the we, as a fanbase, never forget how hard this guy worked for us during these weird few seasons. He’s in a borderline impossible situation and I just can’t help but feel for him. This is a guy who is capable of lifting a 20 pound boulder over his head and every night the Spurs are asking him if he can please go out there and lift a 30 pound boulder over his head instead and every night he dutifully goes out there and tries to lift that dang thing for us. Sometimes he does it and sometimes he can’t, but he always tries and I just wish we spent more time talking about what he can do versus what he can’t. For example, he can execute a pretty flawless spin move at will, which is pretty much one of the top five coolest things you can do on a basketball court.
  • That thing that Dejounte Murray does where he sticks his his hands in and pokes the ball away from defenders and creates big, gangly looking fast break opportunities? Well, I like that very much and would like to see more of it.
  • TIM DUNCAN FIT WATCH: Tim wore a blue blazer over a white henley on Sunday night. The blazer was good and the henley was not. Tim knows I think this look is lazy and beneath him, so I won’t discuss it any further in this space. What we will be talking about is the absolutely wild swing that he took on Friday against the Nets. A Houndstooth blazer over a Burgundy dress shirt? HOUNDSTOOTH? I honestly didn’t think Tim had the look in his locker and even now, a few days later, I’m still reeling from the audacity of it all. The obvious question we have to ask is, “does this look good?” and I’m afraid that the answer is, unfortunately, no. He a little bit looks like he’s about to sell me insurance on a beat up Chevy Nova. Would I buy insurance for my beat up Chevy Nova from Tim Duncan? Sure I would, but that’s besides the point. I think a big factor here simply comes down to the color combinations at play. Burgundy and black and tan all just sort of exist together in this space as opposed to meshing in with one another for the greater good. It feels awkward and, frankly, I don’t like looking at it. However! We here at TDFW love the effort! This is a weird little step outside of Tim’s comfort zone and I’m extremely proud of him for giving it a go. Give more things a go Tim! We’re all just out here trying new stuff this year and some of it works and some of it doesn’t and all of it is okay. The journey is the destination.
NBA: San Antonio Spurs at Brooklyn Nets Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports