The young San Antonio Spurs will give thanks and be grateful for the growing pains of building a perennial NBA title contender. Sure, the turkey gets all the glory, but it’s the cranberry sauce, the marshmallows on sweet potatoes (atypical combo that seems weird at first, but might work out after all—like the Sochan point guard experiment), and the pumpkin pie that really ties the whole thing together. It’s hard to see your boys pile on the losses game after game and ultimately feel like it’s all a waste, but you know, that’s just, like, one opinion, man.
Regardless, Keldon Johnson did his best to keep the good guys in the game by notching a double-double with a team-high 22 points and 10 rebounds. Cedi Osman provided some boost off the bench with 17 points while Charles Bassey cleaned the boards to the tune of 12 rebounds in only 18 minutes.
Johnson may not be the first-read face of the franchise, but he is the one Spur providing some consistency this season. The forward is averaging 21.25 points per game over the last four outings. Different Spurs missing games (including Johnson himself) over the last month certainly do not help matters, but Johnson’s leadership and scoring punch are rock solid.
Despite the loss, some worthy highlights found their way through: like this play where Jeremy Sochan split his way through the Clippers defense as if the Red Sea parted and Charlton Heston cried out, “Let my Sochan cook.”
I have no hot take on the Sochan PG experiment, but I largely agree with the sentiment that when the Spurs eventually draft or sign an all-star caliber point guard to pair with Victor Wembanyama, Sochan’s burn at the PG position can only be a good thing to add to his bag of skills.
The following sequence was nothing but helter skelter, and all I saw were long arms and legs flying around that orange and brown basketball court. I mean that color scheme looked like the set designers of Loki slipped through the multiverse and painted the court a bureaucratic brown palette while Owen Wilson and Tom Hiddleston decipher the rules of the in-season tournament.
Are we sure Cedi Osman isn’t a variant sent from another timeline to deliver Isaiah Collier to the Spurs in next year’s draft? Only TIME will tell.
Cedi Osman will ball regardless. Here, he was just getting fancy with the ball. The forward didn’t need any Grey Poupon, but he certainly put some mustard on the ball to spin it into the bucket. Osman’s 17 off the bench was good for his season high, and he has also provided valuable minutes for the Spurs this season.
Two of the taller dudes on the court shouldn’t be able to toy with their dinner like this. But they should totally do more of this every chance possible. We look forward to more offense flowing through Wembanyama on the elbow or high post, using his height advantage to survey the field.
Victor Wembanyama had a quiet night, but this sequence and play highlighted the big man’s fast break abilities and flexible finish around the rim. As sure as the sun will rise, the tide will come in, and James Harden will request a trade, surely the rookie will have better nights—just don’t call him Shirley.
I think every time an NBA player performs a euro-step, that player has to pay royalties to Manu Ginóbili—except Spurs players, of course, because of the homestead exception or something like that. I just moved so I have to file a homestead exemption. I’ll set my calendar to this Keldon Johnson euro-step to serve as a reminder.
Speaking of one of the greatest basketball players ever (ever. no hyperbole. maybe a little. but like the greatest little hyperbole ever.), this block on this certain player evoked one of the greatest playoff memories in Spurs history. Sure the stakes were lower in this game, but the sauce still tastes just as sweet.
If you missed Monday night’s game because you were too busy watching people complaining about watching other people enjoying Taylor Swift watching football (and the Kansas City Chiefs game that she didn’t even attend), here are the full-game highlights:
Next up, the Spurs take on a familiar foe in the Los Angeles Clippers in a déjà vu matchup at the Frost Bank Center on Wednesday, November 22, 2023.