clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Spurs improve, but can’t overcome the Clippers in 10th straight loss

Highlights from San Antonio’s loss to Los Angeles

Los Angeles Clippers v San Antonio Spurs Photos by Darren Carroll/NBAE via Getty Images

If this season is more about process than winning, you can’t be too upset with how the San Antonio Spurs performed against the Los Angeles Clippers. Sure there were the occasional offensive and defensive breakdowns. Yet, the Silver and Black fought until the bitter end, making the game interesting late in the fourth quarter. There were plenty of positives to takeaway from the Spurs 109-102 loss to the Clippers on Wednesday night.

The biggest story coming out of the game had nothing to do with the actual play on the court. In the last minutes of the second quarter, Kawhi Leonard went to the free throw line for two shots. The San Antonio crowd was letting him have it, booing and jeering as he took his first shot. That’s when Gregg Popovich intervened.

After the game Pop told reporters that he didn’t want Spurs fans to “poke the bear,” motivating Leonard with their negativity. Whether or not this was appropriate or smart from the head coach is up to you, but it is undoubtedly entertaining. This moment will surely be one we remember at season’s end.

The on the court product was fun too! Jeremy Sochan had his best game of the season, going for 19 points, 7 assists and 5 rebounds. He made some great reads passing the ball, showing he’s gotten more comfortable playing the point. He was attacking on offense, and in the fourth quarter took over the game for a stretch.

Sochan is shooting 37.5% from three this season, mostly on catch and shoot jumpers. This pull-up shows he’s getting more comfortable taking long range shots. His jumper looks much more fluid off the catch and the dribble. If he can develop into a semi-reliable three-point shooter, that’s a huge boost for the Spurs offensive attack.

Here’s an example of Sochan’s improved play at the point guard spot. He comes off the double stagger screen, stays patient and find the relocating pop man for an open catch and shoot three. As he learns the position, you’ll see more of Sochan keeping the play alive with his dribble and finding the right man as the play develops. Kind of like a quarterback scrambling out of the pocket to find a receiver downfield. This was a great read from the Spurs tall ball point guard.

Victor Wembanyama had a big bounce back game after struggling in the Spurs last game against the Clippers. He attacked the basket and was much more selective with his shot on the way to 22 points, 15 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 blocks.

Here he seals the smaller Paul George on the low block in transition. He makes himself big, and Keldon Johnson hits him for the drop-step layup. Wemby’s frame can make it hard to establish position down low. Doing his work early to establish position and using his length to finish over the top of shorter defenders will do him wonders on the block.

I’ve been impressed with Wemby’s cutting ability. He has good instincts on when to dive to the rim for an easy look. Here the Clippers are scrambling after an offensive rebound, and Wembanyama finds a lane for the dunk. What a lob from Zach Collins! Not many big men can make that pass.

Wembanyama is a threat in the pick and roll, but the Spurs still don’t run it for him nearly enough. Devin Vassell and the big man are a dynamic combination in the action. Vassell’s ability to score off the bounce makes defenses pay for over-helping on Wembanyama. Wembanyama’s gravity opens up looks for Vassell. I would love to see them run more of this moving forward.

Wembanyama can pass it too! This is a great read to find the cutting KJ when PG ball watches.

The Spurs get a break for Thanksgiving, then will be off to San Francisco for their last In Season Tournament game against the Warriors on Friday.

Check out full game highlights below.