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What We Learned from the Spurs loss to the Raptors

Spurs continue to forge ahead through the wilderness

NBA: San Antonio Spurs at Toronto Raptors Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

I feel like an old ship captain sometimes during these games. Just adrift at sea with the ocean stretching out for miles in every direction and no land in sight. There’s nothing to do but stand at the prow and watch the world go up and down, back and forth, always in motion, but never changing. You trust your coordinates and you hope you’re on the right course but, for now, it’s just you and the endless abyss.

There’s not much to say about this game that hasn’t already been said. The Spurs tried hard and came up empty. They were shorthanded, of course, but what else is new? Everyone in the franchise seems to have settled in to a rhythm for how things are going to go for the rest of the season and this game played out that blueprint with little deviation. Just another log on the fire. (I’ve spent the last five minutes trying to decide whether or not to forge ahead with a more positive “cooking fire” metaphor or a negative “funeral pyre” one and, well, I couldn’t pick. I suppose I’ll leave that up to the imagination of the reader depending on your mood today.)

It’s not a sad state of affairs here in Spursland, it’s just not a particularly interesting one. It’s boring. It’s predetermined. what it is. The young exciting talent that we’re developing for the future is, for the most part, currently sidelined and the team seems to be playing out the string before an impending All-Star break that couldn’t come soon enough for everyone involved.

We all might need a little space. A little...I don’t know, a reset. We’re deep in the grind right now and even when you’re committed to the ultimate goal, the monotony of the work can drive you a little nuts. Sisyphus wasn’t tasked with rolling that boulder up a hill for his health, you know? I say we all just pay our respects to this game, another hard earned brick in the wall, and then never speak of it again.

Eyes on the horizon, friends. We’ll catch sight of land soon enough.


  • The news that Jakob Poeltl was traded came through literally as I’m typing this. He’s off to the Raptors in exchange for Khem Birch, a protected 2024 first-round draft pick and two future second-round picks. We knew this was coming and, still, it fills me with an extreme sense of melancholy to see him actually out the door. Jakob came into an organization that was reeling and all he did was put his head down and get to work. He developed from an afterthought in the Kawhi Leonard trade to one of the best big men in the entire league. I loved watching him play and I loved watching him be a Spur. Whenever we get back to the top of the mountain, I hope there's time to spare a thought for guys like Jakob who helped carried us along the way. Wishing him nothing but the best. Spur for life in my book.
  • The Spurs wearing white jerseys on the road and refusing to do so at home is going to turn me into the Joker. This was all kind of lighthearted at first but it really is starting to drive me to the brink of insanity. Maybe it’s because the actual basketball isn’t very good right now but I sit there during the games and it feels like the white jerseys are just mocking me. It’s all I can focus on. There has to be something we can do about this. A protest. A march. A sit in. Anything, please.
  • I really enjoyed watching this team when we had Devin Vassell, Keldon Johnson, Tre Jones, and Jeremy Sochan in the lineup. I am not down on the future of the Spurs, in fact, I’m super excited about it. I just really miss actually getting to watch those guys. This season was about development and seeing them grow up as basketball players and teammates. It feels like we’ve gotten precious little time with all of them together this year and that kind of bums me out. I know it’s no ones fault and it’s not on purpose, but still. It’s a bummer.

WWL Post Game Press Conference

- You seem sad today.

- Aren’t you supposed to ask questions in a press conference? I swear, this bit used to be a nuanced satire of the banal back-and-forths between athletes and reporters after games and now it just seems like an excuse to play out random conversations and get a cheap laugh at the end of the column.

- Fine. You seem sad today, are you sad?

- Man, just a little bit. I don’t know. Game was a bit of a bummer. Jakob’s leaving. Just not having much fun right now.

- You think you’ll be able to turn it around?

- Yea, you know, I think we can turn it around. Of course. Just need a change of scenery. A reset. Got to find a way to rededicate ourselves to the mission at hand. Find the joy on the margins. Look at the big picture. All that noise.

- Any other platitudes you want to throw at the situation?

- We just gotta seize the day. Hang in there. Fight for every inch. You know, the writing’s on the wall and like, what goes around comes around. What’s meant to be will be. Everything happens for a reason. Teamwork makes the dream work. C’est la vie.

- Hey, tech support? I think he may have shorted out.

- Money can’t buy happiness. Live each moment like it’s your last. Follow your bliss. What goes up, must come down. Rome wasn’t built in a day....