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What We Learned from the Spurs loss to the Thunder

San Antonio continues to take it’s lumps

San Antonio Spurs v Oklahoma City Thunder Photo by Joshua Gateley/Getty Images

For reasons that are, honestly, hard for me to fully wrap my head around, it feels like Spursworld at large is in a bad mood. Everyone seems to disagree on almost everything that’s happening. Are they not trying hard enough to win? Are they being too cute with Jeremy Sochan? Has Gregg Popovich lost the plot? is Victor Wembanyama TOO tall?? The list goes on. If there’s something to talk about with regards to the San Antonio Spurs right now, it’s safe to assume that those of us out here in the Fan voting block are arguing about it.

Now, as you can imagine, rolling in to OKC and falling flat for their sixth straight loss is going to do very little to settle the tempest that seems to be roiling around in South Texas at the moment. I get it. It’s no fun to watch your team lose by a million (approximately) on national TV to another young team that we consider something of a peer. It’s no fun to watch our teenage prodigy unable to get it going and stumble around to 8 points on 4-of-15 shooting. It’s no fun to watch our boys fall to 0-2 in group play of the brand new In Season Tournament that we all care about greatly. It’s the pits! We’re having a bad time and we feel bad about it.

The context matters, sure. Keldon Johnson, the clear emotional center of the team, missed the game. As did our safety blanket, Tre Jones. The Thunder are also very good! We can think of ourselves as a peer all we want, but they are about two years ahead of us on the full rebuild track and, in addition to having a Tall-Prodigy™ in Chet Holmgren, they also have one of those pesky Top 10 Players in the League™ in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. This is a team that’s going to make real playoff noise this year. We are not the same.

Context has no place in Feelings World™ though. We’re still mad, right? We should be better than this, right? We’ve been bad for a like a million years (approximately) and that part was supposed to be over. We got Wembanyama. I mean, like...we got Wembanyama! We beat the Suns that one time! We’re supposed to be good now! I was made to believe that the dog days were over.

I don’t know what to tell you. We’re not a good basketball team yet and we probably won’t be for a while. We’re going to keep running experiments out there and we’re going to keep letting these guys get experience and it’s going to be a bummer some nights. This is how it generally works. I’m so very sorry that Tim Duncan won us a championship in his second season and now that’s apparently the standard we’re accustomed to. If you didn’t already appreciate how special that whole deal was then, well, welcome to the party.

The thing is, we have something pretty special going on here too. It’s just different. It’s different than what we’re used to or, maybe, it’s different than what we want. Wemby is special and our time with him is something that we’re going to remember forever, but we have to let it run it’s course. We have to let him catch some lumps and experience some hardship without freaking out about it. We have to find out what works and what doesn’t and, I can’t stress the enough, we have to give it more than 11 games. I’m promise I’m not saying we should just blindly throw up a giant “In Pop We Trust” flag and simply ignore everything else, but like...maybe we get a medium sized “In Pop We Trust a Little” one?

The Spurs drafted one of the best prospects to come into the League in a long time. We were looking for a player like Wemby, and then we found one.

Heaven knows we’re miserable now.


  • We’ve really got to work on the 2nd half stuff, right? If there’s one thing that I think we have every right to actually be mad about, it is probably effort related. That’s something well within their control regardless of anything else going on and it didn’t feel like it was there as the game ran it’s course last night. It just seemed listless and that’s unacceptable. Mistakes? We love ‘em. We learn from them. We Live, Laugh and Love through any and all mistakes. The effort has to be there every time though. If that waxes and wanes during the season then, yea, maybe we start to worry.
  • The hard launch of the Viktor-Chet rivalry was kind of a dud, and I think that’s probably good for everyone in the long run. Wembanyama and Holmgren are both really easy marks for that thing where everything they do creates these sort of outsize expectations that play really well on social media and get everyone all hyped up and excited to an unreasonable degree. Did Victor flex after a dunk in a preseason game? They’ve got bad blood already! Did Chet like an Instagram post? OMG they must hate each other! THEY’RE CAN ONLY BE ONE SUPER TALL BOY CHAMPION AMONGST THE SMALL MARKETS! I feel like everyone so desperately wants this to be the next great NBA Rivalry that they are almost trying to force it. Can we just let it grow? I promise you don’t need to trick me into being snarky about anything happening in Oklahoma. I can get fired up about that just fine on my own.
  • Ok please don’t yell at me, but Jeremy Sochan had a quietly okay night out there. (How’s that for faint praise??) He was aggressive but looked like he was trying to play within himself. His three turnovers included one bad pass where he was just trying to push things up the court too quickly and then he got stripped near the paint twice. I still like that he gets to try things out when he has the ball in his hands and I think he still flashes just enough cool stuff every game to warrant a continuation of this trial run. Our long national nightmare continues!
  • Even when he has pretty off night by his standards...I mean, Lol. Look at this tall boy doing silly stuff. We get to watch him do this in a Spurs jersey! Blessings upon our house.

WWL Post Game Press Conference

- Endorsing The Smiths is kind of a touchy subject these, what with their frontman Morrissey being a bit of a magnet for controversy. Is that something you’re comfortable with doing?

- I’d like to say, up front, that I will tacitly stand by almost everything Steven Patrick Morrissey had to say up until about 1995, and then he’s on his own. Look, the Smiths are one of the greatest rock bands of the 20th century and they should be celebrated as such. The fact that the guy who’s singing the words happens to be a bit of a loon these days, well, I mean. Thats a bit of a sticky wicket for sure.

- Does it matter at all that a very popular movie was just released in which a contract killer goes around listening almost exclusively to The Smiths? Is that a good message to send?

- I think it’s good that people are listening to and talking about great music. I think the movie you’re referencing, The Killer, is also very good and I think all of these things together net out as a positive.

- So just to recap...You are Pro: The Smiths and you are Anti: Morrissey’s political leanings and general disposition to the world post 1995?

- You got it.

- Should I just stop what I’m doing and watch old Spurs highlights while listening to Louder than Bombs?

- That’s maybe the best idea anyone has ever had.