The saying Home Sweet Home doesn’t apply to this 9 game homestand that the San Antonio Spurs will be finishing this week. In the 8 games already played, the Spurs have gone a miserable 2-8. The loss of LaMarcus Aldridge and the addition (and subsequent loss due to an injured shoulder) of Gorgui Dieng hasn’t helped. After Monday night’s last home game, the Spurs will be headed out on a 5 game road trip. Considering they have been better away than at home, here’s hoping the Silver and Black get some wins under their belt.
Week 15: After ending last week with a win versus the Chicago Bulls, it was disappointing to lose to the 11th seeded Sacramento Kings. Despite stellar games from Dejounte Murray and Jakob Poeltl, De’Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield were on fire (as expected). But one positive from these mini-series, adjustments can be made rather quickly. In the second game versus the Kings, the Silver and Black were able to bounce back with an aggressive game.
The Spurs played hard all game only to lose in 2nd overtime versus the Atlanta Hawks in the 3rd game of the week at home. The career game from Derrick White and DeMar DeRozan’s 36 points just weren’t enough. Of course, a double overtime game on a SEGABABA was probably a contributing factor.
Coming into the last game of the week, the Spurs were favored by 7 against a shorthanded Indiana Pacers. But another overtime game ended in a loss for the Spurs. DeMar DeRozan, Keldon Johnson, and Dejounte Murray had great games, but it just wasn’t enough to pull out the win.
Last Week: 1-3 (24-23, 8th in West) — 132-115 vs Kings (loss); 120-106 vs Kings; 134-129 vs Hawks (loss); 139-133 vs Pacers (loss)
This Week: 4/5 vs Cleveland Cavaliers; 4/7 @ Denver Nuggets; 4/9 @ Denver Nuggets; 4/11 @ Dallas Mavericks
Andrew Lopez, ESPN: 12 (Last Week: 11)
After splitting a pair of games with Sacramento to start the week, San Antonio finished with a pair of overtime losses; the Spurs fell in double OT to the Hawks on Thursday night before losing to the Pacers in overtime on Saturday. In the win over the Kings and then against Atlanta and Indiana, DeMar DeRozan led the Spurs in scoring each game. It was the first time all season the Spurs have had the same player lead them in scoring in three consecutive games.
Colin Ward-Hennginer, CBS Sports: 16 (Last Week: 13)
The Spurs split with the Kings to start the week, then dropped consecutive overtime games to the Hawks and Pacers. That’s now seven losses in nine games for San Antonio, as it continues to drop in the Western Conference standings. Derrick White had a strong week, averaging 21 points on 37 percent 3-pointers, while DeMar DeRozan paced the team with 26 points and 7.5 assists per game.
John Schuhmann, NBA.com: 14 (Last Week: 12)
The Spurs were probably due for a slide, given the strength of their second-half schedule. But their 2-7 stretch over the last 16 days has includes losses to Charlotte, Sacramento, Atlanta and Indiana. The last five games have actually been their best offensive stretch of the season (116.9 points scored per 100 possessions), with seven guys averaging double-figures. But they rank 27th defensively over the larger, 2-7 stretch, with their opponents having shot 40% from 3-point range and turned their ball over a lot less (11.2 per 100 possessions) than they did prior (13.8).
The Spurs’ own turnover rate (11.3 per 100) is still the lowest in the 25 years for which we have play-by-play data, but they’ve been even with their opponents over the nine games. That’s a problem given their disadvantages in shooting and on the glass. Six of the nine games have come against top-10 offenses, but eight of the nine have come at home. Their homestand comes to an end with a game against the 30th-ranked Cavs, but starting Wednesday, they’ll play 17 of their final 24 games on the road and 13 of those 24 against those top-10 offenses.
Mo Dahkil, Bleacher Report: 17 (Last Week: 15)
The Spurs went 1-3 last week as they are slowly drifting into troubled waters. They dropped a double-overtime game against Atlanta and an overtime game to Indiana. They have not been good in the clutch this season, having gone 8-11 in games with a three-point differential in the final three minutes.
However, if they continue to get DeMar DeRozan to play the way he did last week, the Spurs will have a good shot at the play-in tournament. DeRozan led them in scoring with 26.0 points a night and 7.5 assists. The Spurs also got a big week from Derrick White, who dropped in 21.0 points and shot 36.8 percent from three.
San Antonio’s nine-game homestand will come to an end next week. From there the Spurs will play 17 of their final 24 games on the road. The path to the play-in tournament will be a challenging one.
Kevin O’Connor, The Ringer: 23 (Previously 13)
The Spurs should have blown it up.
The Spurs are 24-23 and fighting for dear life for the 8-seed after losing seven of their past nine games. They also have the second-hardest remaining schedule in the league. With no hopes of winning a first-round series, it’s time to let go, focus on player development, and hope for lottery luck with a class headlined by multiple potential stars.
Except the Spurs didn’t make any moves to bolster their playoff odds, nor did they trade away veterans. Saying so long to LaMarcus Aldridge was step one for the Spurs. That shouldn’t have been it. With veterans DeMar DeRozan, Patty Mills, and Rudy Gay all set to hit unrestricted free agency this offseason, San Antonio should’ve moved them and fed more minutes to the kids. Instead, Gregg Popovich is still giving minutes to older players, which means young guys like Keldon Johnson often end up riding the bench in critical moments like he did for the final eight minutes in a loss to the Pacers last week.
Are the Spurs spiraling out of control or is this just another bump in the road? Let us know in the comments, Pounders, if you are losing hope or keeping it alive.