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What We Learned from the Spurs loss to the Grizzlies

Shorthanded Spurs keep on fighting

San Antonio Spurs v Memphis Grizzlies Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

So are we upset about another loss? Who can even tell anymore. Look, It’s really hard to win games in this league. Really hard. I know teams do it every night and that makes it seem like the NBA is just handing out wins out of the back of a van or something, but the reality is that those wins aren’t being handed to anyone. They are fought for and earned out there on the court which, like I said, is really hard to do. The Spurs are fighting and they are trying and they are doing their best and yet...they aren’t there yet. They aren’t good enough. They haven’t earned those wins yet.

It honestly feels weird to be even paying attention to the score anymore because, frankly, the losses aren’t my problem. I don’t have to care about them if I don’t want to. None of us do! We’re allowed to watch the first quarter of the game, turn it off, and never think about it again. We can just watch Wembanyama highlights on Youtube that have the scores cropped out. Shoot, we can ignore the games altogether and check back in the summer to see who the Spurs draft. No one is making us do this.

But if you’re here and you’re reading this then, for some reason, you’re still locked in. You want to know that this game in Memphis on the January 2nd, 2024 mattered in the grand scheme of things. Is Victor making progress? Are any of the other young pieces showing promise? Is Gregg Popovich just messing with us? These are valid questions and worthy reasons for tuning in. You want to be a part of it. If the Spurs aren’t going to get you a win, well, you want to, dare I say, learn something from all this.

So, I ask again, are we upset about another loss? I still don’t know. Like always, this team played well in parts and ghastly in others. Victor did a few things that made me feel like I could taste colors and also he got dunked on so hard that my ancestors were sending me texts from the afterlife like “DID U SEE JA’S POSTER ON WEMBY!?!?!” The Spurs, shorthanded as they are talent wise, were even further behind the eight ball in the healthy bodies department which made a daunting task feel next to impossible from the start. But the game got going and they stayed in it. They competed. They tried. Everything just seemed to simply drift away from them as the minutes ticked on. It was never a disaster. It was never something you could put your finger on and say, “ah yes, their fatal flaw, right there.” The whole thing was simply too much for the boys. Plain and simple.

They aren’t there yet. That’s been the conclusion for some time now and it remains true today. They are working and they are trying and they are getting better, but they aren’t there yet.

Are we upset about another loss?

Well.

We’re still here, aren’t we?

Takeaways:

  • This is your annual reminder that the Spurs should be wearing their black jerseys during road games and their white ones at home. Reject modernity and embrace tradition, folks. I’m half convinced this is the only way we’re every gonna get back to winning titles.
  • Ok so did Victor actually get “dunked all over” by Ja Morant? Is that what happened there? Because watching it live, everything seemed pretty run of the mill to me. Ja gives a little crossover shimmy in the lane and Vic (correctly) doesn’t let him go baseline. Because the Spurs are, you know, the “Spurs” right now there is no one helping in the lane so our boy has to use his freakish recovery skills to even get back to contest and Ja is simply already in the air. It’s a two handed dunk with roughly zero pizazz. Especially on the Ja Morant Pizazz scale. If Victor didn’t have the wingspan of a California condor then this wouldn’t even be a thing. I demand satisfaction from the NBA community for even getting me worked up about this.
  • I wasn’t anticipating that I would love Keldon Johnson coming off the bench. It finally feels like a role that fits him like a glove. It allows him to bring his energy and leadership and playmaking ability into the game in situations where it doesn’t feel like the entire franchise is leaning on his ability to make a play. He’s kind of thriving? And as a result, it feels like I’m thriving? It’s fun. I get excited when I see him checking into the game because it feels like he’s about to switch the vibes up in a good way. No one is ever allowed to talk about “another Manu” again because that’s just....we shouldn’t be doing that to people. However, it’s not dumb to remember that Manu taught us how fun it is to watch a dude who’s a little overqualified for the 2nd unit come in and tear it up with those dudes. Feel like we could all use a little more fun in our lives.

WWL Post Game Press Conference

- New year, new you?

- New year, same me. I resist the notion of changing myself when the calendar tells me to. I’ll change in April. I’ll change in August. You don’t own me calendar. You’re just numbers on a page.

- Isn’t there something to be said for the the world getting together, collectively, as a whole group and deciding on a preordained, fresh, blank slate.

- If the world got together and decided to jump off a bridge, would you do it?

- I mean...am I the only one in the entire world not jumping off of this bridge?

- To be solitary in your convictions is to be next to godliness.

- Not sure that’s the phrase.

- Look, it’s my first WWL of the year, cut me some slack.