Week That Was, What’s Next
The San Antonio Spurs righted the ship last week with three wins, including a pair on the road. This week brings a visit from the struggling Mavs before a 3-game Eastern swing.
The San Antonio Spurs closed out the fourth week of this young NBA season with a perfect 3-0 mark.
The Spurs started the week taking on the Miami Heat in San Antonio. The Spurs cruised to a 15-point halftime lead against the visiting Heat. The second half, however, got sloppy and the Heat turned up their defense and intensity.
The Spurs were able to maintain the lead and get out with a 94-90 win. There are going to be runs in any sport, especially basketball. I was never worried and the Spurs made enough plays to hold them off.
Kawhi Leonard was the head of the snake again with 24 points, 12 boards and four assists. LaMarcus Aldridge was Robin per usual to Leonard’s Batman and chipped in with 18 points. Pau Gasol, Tony Parker and Patty Mills also reached double figures in the win.
The second game of the week took place in Sacramento against the Kings. The Spurs’ starting lineup was in tune all night long.
Parker had a very efficient 14 points and 7 assists, Danny Green connected on three 3-pointers, and the frontcourt of Leonard, Aldridge and Gasol all scored in the 20’s. This contributed to a strong Spurs win that wasn’t as close as the final score indicated.
At the end, the not-ready-for-prime-time players, a.k.a., “the end of the bench” led by Dejounte Murray, showed they are not ready for big minutes at this juncture of the season. They allowed an 18-point lead with just more than 3 minutes in the game to shrink to only four points.
Coach Gregg Popovich kept them in for teaching purposes and the Spurs survived with a 110-105 victory.
The Spurs ended the week with a shootout against the young, athletic Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers scored 107 points, shot 44 percent from the field, 48 percent from 3-point land and out-rebounded the Spurs 45-34. In addition to that, they had five players score in double figures.
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The only problem for the Lakers was that the Spurs shot a blistering 56 percent from the field and answered every Lakers run with one of their own.
The Spurs’ 39-point third quarter was a thing of beauty after the teams had see-sawed back and forth in a first half that ended up deadlocked at 52.
The Spurs had seven players in double figures, including all five starters along with Manu Ginobili and Mills off the bench with 10 and 11 respectively. Leonard was three assists shy of a triple-double, finishing with 23 points, 12 rebounds, seven assists and two steals.
Aldridge had 23 points as well, while Gasol and Parker each had 16 points (Parker added seven assists) and Green contributed 10 points. The Spurs were clicking offensively and it was fun to watch.
The Lakers impressed with their continued fight to the end and look to be team to watch going forward with their mix of youth and athleticism, and a very capable coach in Luke Walton. The Spurs prevailed, 116-107.
This next week will involve a home game against the struggling Dallas Mavericks, a feisty Hornet team in Charlotte on Wednesday, and back-to-back road games in Boston on Friday and Washington on Saturday.
After beating the Mavericks resoundingly, I foresee the Spurs getting two of the next three road games. Why? Because three games in four nights is a rough schedule. So I see a 3-1 week after having a perfect 3-0 week last week.
The Spurs are an impressive 7-0 on the road and the starting unit is looking very strong lately with Green back, Gasol finding his rhythm, Parker playing very solidly, Aldridge shooting like himself agai, and Leonard playing like a star.
It should be an enjoyable week of Spurs action and there is a lot to be thankful for this week, in addition to our Spurs.