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What We Learned from the Spurs loss to the Clippers

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Four straight losses put Spurs in a tough spot

Los Angeles Clippers v San Antonio Spurs Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images

Let’s start with some good news: Getting blown out at home by Kawhi and then following it up with a loss to the same Clippers team 24 hours later that’s sitting most of it’s starters is about as bad as it gets. Throw in a season-worst offensive performance and an underwhelming, if logical, trade deadline and I’d say this is a pretty solid recipe for rock bottom. I love rock bottom. Rock bottom is where you really learn about yourself. Rock bottom is where you find out if you’re capable of something bigger and better. Rock bottom is the part of the movie where the inspirational speeches and fun montages start. There’s a wonderful amount of clarity that comes from knowing that there’s nowhere to go but up.

Of course, as bad as this feels, there’s no guarantee we’re actually there yet. I probably don’t need to remind anyone that we’re not in a movie and can’t simply montage away the problems at hand. Things could get worse. The Spurs could keep losing. This promising little season that we’ve nurtured, fed and watered for the last couple months could wither and die on the vine and, in no time, we’ll be sitting in our basements watching grainy footage of a 18-year old Turkish kid and praying that he’ll be the one who saves us.

The Spurs look out of sorts right now and it’s hard to put a finger on what it is from where we’re sitting. None of the movement on offense feels very crisp. It’s all forced and strained and out of rhythm. Everyone is running through the same plays and dutifully taking the shots, but no one looks particularly comfortable doing it. It’s like they have the yips. There’s no logical explanation for it, it’s just not clicking. There’s no confidence, no fire, no...anything. DeMar got his workmanlike 20 or so points and Dejounte managed to scrounge his way to 18, but everyone else was a ghost. It’s not fun. We’re straight up not having a good time right now.

Of course, in the grand scheme of things the Spurs are fine. They have a promising young core and country mile of cap space next season to lure in some big name free agent (ha!). This season doesn’t matter. This losing streak doesn’t matter. Nothing matters. It’s all just about developing the talent we have and learning lessons and building towards the future. Pay no mind to the short term pain and focus on the big beautiful future that’s surely right around the corner. Keep the faith. Pound the rock.

I know what the correct attitude to have about all this is, but it’s never felt less appealing. I feel like we all need to just like, take a break from the Spurs or something. Maybe let them go sort some of these issues out in private for a week or two. I’m sure the peanut gallery over here going all doom and gloom on the Internet isn’t helping anything but, I mean, what else are we supposed to do? We can only react to the games happening in front of our face and the games are bad. I’m trying to keep everything in perspective with regards to the big picture, but they have to meet us in the middle. This is supposed to be the “fun” hobby we do to relax and take our mind off of things and instead it feels like we’re clocking in for a shift at the coal mine every time we tune in. Its borderline impossible to just sit back and enjoy the ride when it’s actively trying to throw us out of the car.

I’m being dramatic. I know that I am. It’s a bad look coming from a fanbase that has truly been as spoiled as possible over the last few decades but it is what it is. Losing games makes monsters of us all. Rock bottom has got to be around here someplace. We just need to find it and head the other way.

Simple as that.

Takeaways:

  • It’s genuinely sort of hilarious how much we all got sucked into the trade deadline this year. Every single time it rolls around we spend weeks listening to various experts and insiders say some version of, “The Spurs absolutely never make mid-season deals...but, I’m hearing that this year they are listening to calls!” Seriously, every year we do this! It’s madness. Of course they’re listening to calls, who doesn’t listen to calls? It’s literally their job to listen to calls. LaMarcus was always going to get bought out. No one was going to give us anything of value for the vets that we barely want in the first place. It’s just so dumb. Did we really want to trade away the future for some slim shot at a four seed? “Just throw some 2nd round picks in there and we could’ve probably gotten an All-Star back for Rudy Gay and Trey Lyles” L. O. L. I’m so glad it’s over.
  • Did we like anything that happened in the game last night? I dunno. Dejounte did some cool stuff. He’s really good. We’re past the point of worrying whether or not it’s a fluke that he figured out how to finish at the rim. Some of his finishes still stress me out a little because they look exactly like his weak finishes from the past. You know the ones where he would just glide past defenders, but away from the basket instead of towards it? He’s still doing that sometimes, it’s just that this year they seem to be dropping for him. Eventually I’m going to have to trust it.
  • Games like this really show the danger of needing to lean on someone like Keldon Johnson. I’m not trying to single him out necessarily, but I’m going to use him as an avatar for the greater youth movement at hand. Keldon is a starter and he’s an important part of the offense. We need him to be get to the rim efficiently. We need him knock down shots. We can’t really afford for him to just be a complete non-factor. Now, that’s an incredibly unfair burden to put on a 2nd year guy who is still getting his feet wet in the league. For as long as I’ve known the Spurs, they have almost never put guys this young in a position where the wins and losses hang in the balance of whether or not they have an off night, but this is just where we’re at right now. Maybe it’s going to pay dividends down the road, but it doesn’t change the fact that if you do a trial by fire then you’re going to get burned sometimes.
  • Losing in the Fiesta Jerseys feels like a criminal offense. This game really better be the low point of the season because if there’s something lower than this then I might have to go get on a train and just ride the rails for a few weeks. See if I can rediscover myself out in the heartland of America. Really get back to my blogging roots. Just posting recaps from diners along Route 66 and stuff like that. Could be fun!

WWL Post Game Press Conference

- Bleak times out there.

- Bleak indeed.

- Want to talk about it?

- Not particularly.

- What, uh...What’s Marco up to?

- Oh shoot, Marco! Yea, let’s check. It looks like he....Oh! He scored 24 points in a Virtus Bologna win on Tuesday night. Went 13-14 from the line and made a key shot to seal the win late. Should the Spurs see if they can bring Marco back for the stretch run?

- He could take LaMarcus’s spot.

- Exactly! Wait, this is a great idea, should I call Pop?

- If you’ve been able to call Pop this whole time and haven’t been doing it then I’m not sure what to tell you.