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What We Learned from the Spurs win over the Wizards

A little consistency goes a long way.

Washington Wizards v San Antonio Spurs Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images

I don’t know about you, but I kept waiting for it to fall apart. That’s been the playbook for this team throughout the season, right? They fight just hard enough to kick the door open before it swings back and slams shut in their face. Pretty standard operating procedure for a young team out there trying to find its legs. Last night though? Well, last night the door stayed open and, against all the odds, our boys managed to walk on through it.

Two wins in a row. A winning streak. What a concept! After a truly interminable start to this campaign, it almost seems like this team has turned the smallest of corners so, like, what do we do with this new information? Do we exhale a little bit? Do we raise our expectations? Do we talk a bunch of trash to the one Wizards fan in our life? Uh, why not do it all?

First, we exhale. Just breathe. That start to the season was bleak and it’s okay to say so. I don’t care how Youth our Movement is trying to be, any losing streak longer than three games can start to wear on the psyche of both the fans and the fan base. You go to dark places. You start making jokes like, “Pop only needs 20 more wins to pass Don Nelson, do you think he’ll do it next year or the year after that?” Everything becomes an extremely depressing shade of ‘not fun’ and it’s hard to even assess the modicum of positive development happening out there because it’s too difficult to simply get past how much of a bummer all the losing is. We all need a reprieve from the darkness from time to time, so let’s enjoy it while we have it.

The next step sounds like a bad idea and, look, it certainly could be, but if you came here for calm, cool analysis then you must’ve made a wrong turn somewhere. Let’s raise our expectations! Just a little? This time last week I was gearing up to really consider what it might be like to win 10 games all season and now, with the benefit of hindsight, that seems a slight histrionic. With this kind of form they could easily win 20 games. Maybe even 25! The sky's the limit! (You know, as long as the sky isn’t in the playoffs or anything, let’s not get crazy.)

I don’t think it’s unreasonable or bad to expect just a little bit more from these guys moving forward. It’s good for everyone and, these past two games have shown some real growth on their part. During the losing streak, they were always playing hard and they were always hanging around in games that they didn’t necessarily belong in and then, for a variety of reasons, they could never quite get it across the finish line. These past two games have shown that, to a certain extent, they’ve started to learn from those early mistakes. They’ve grown into the games instead of fading out from them. That’s huge! That’s one of those forever skills that, if they are able to really master it, will prove invaluable moving forward.

Obviously, this team is nowhere near being a finished project, but I love that we now have some tangible evidence that they’re really starting to learn and adapt. There’s going to be many more lessons coming down the pike and it’s fun to finally feel confidant that they’re ready to take them on.

The last thing we need to do today, and really this is the most important step so make sure you don’t skip it, is talk trash to the one Wizards fan in your life. So here goes:

Hey! Sully! The Wizards STINK! We OWN the Wiz. They haven’t won a game in San Antonio since the first Matrix movie came out. You know what that means? Come Christmas time, I’m going to have seen FOUR times as many Matrix movies in theaters as the Wiz have wins in San Antonio. We’re not even good anymore and you still can’t pull it off. Eat our dust, losers!

Look, We’re not going to have a whole lot of chances to talk trash this season so I can’t stress how important it is to hone your skills in this area when the opportunity presents itself.

I mostly just want to make sure that we, as Spurs fans, hold our heads a little higher today. We may not have a great team on our hands, but we just might have a good one. At the very least, we have one that’s showing signs of life and that’s certainly not nothing.

Takeaways:

  • There was a stretch in the first quarter that, honestly, I was prepared to make this entire post about if things hadn’t gone our way in the end. At the 8:31 mark, Derrick White jumped in a passing lane and got out on the fast break. A series of good decisions later and Keldon Johnson did one of his patented “Try to Break the Entire Building” dunks and it almost made me fall over out of the back of my chair. THEN, while everyone was still trying to recover, Jakob swatted a puny Brad Beal layup attempt out to Keldon who immediately got back out on the break, ran a perfect give and go with Bates-Diop, and then tried to Break the Entire Building again! I think I blacked out after that and woke in the middle of 2nd quarter.
  • I’m trying not to look directly at it so I don’t scare it away or anything, but, Derrick White quietly having a pretty decent game makes me pretty happy. It’s amazing to see how much bounce he gets from just a few breaks going his way. A shot or two falling when they weren’t last week translates to more energy everywhere on the court and the best version of Derrick is the one that’s flying around with confidence. Hopefully this is a sign of things getting back on track.
  • We love a few Josh Primo threes, don’t we folks? Yes we do. We absolutely love it. I know that it’s important for him to get minutes in Austin and I get that it’s a part of the whole development process, etcetera, etcetera. BUT. I just want to see more of him. I want to be in on the action and like, I’m sorry, but I’m just not going to watch a lot of Austin Spurs games. I want Primo in Prime Time! It even sounds good! Primo in Prime Time! #PrimoInPrimeTime

WWL Post Game Press Conference

- You finally got to write about win this season, how does it feel?

- Feels great to get that monkey off my back. Was starting to worry that we were wandering into ‘curse’ territory and I just can’t handle another curse. Not again. Not after last time.

- Wait, what happened last time?

- Ugh, man, I don’t really want to regurgitate the whole thing but like, long story short, a couple of buddies and I got together and like, I don’t know, we stole some ancient Aztec gold or whatever that cursed us to become weird immortals who turn into gross skeletons in the moonlight. It’s fine. We sorted it all out, but it was a whole mess.

- Is that not the plot to the Pirates of the Caribbean movies?

- Wait, they made a movie about us? Why is this the first I’m hearing of it?

- This is the first your hearing of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies?

- I dunno, dude ... look, I’ve had a lot going on.