NBA

Spurs week in review: Even injuries and emotional turmoil can’t slow this team down

Spurs week in review: Even injuries and emotional turmoil can’t slow this team down

Welcome to the Week in Review: A Monday feature that takes a look at the week that was for the San Antonio Spurs, looks at the week ahead and more. Enjoy!


Week 1: The Spurs didn’t exactly start the season looking like a shutout team.

Week 2: 3-1 (5-2 overall) — 115-106 W @ Minnesota Timberwolves; 122-134 L @ Minnesota Timberwolves; 129-124 W vs. Chicago Bulls; 107-98 W. Minnesota Timberwolves

After shocking their first week of the season with a 2-1 start, the Spurs set out to prove it was no fluke, and suffice it to say they did. Opening the week with a miniseries in Minnesota, the Spurs cannonballed an unsuspecting and lethargic Timberwolves team, taking a 103-71 lead into the fourth quarter before allowing the game to get a little too interesting for comfort, but they went However, he held on for the 9-point victory.

Of course, the challenge of the miniseries is that opponents have had a game to pick each other up, and after getting “punked” by the Spurs, in Minnesota’s words, they weren’t going to let it happen again . While this game felt very much like a scheduled loss, not to mention everyone knew the Timberwolves would come back with a vengeance, the fact that the Spurs didn’t back down and kept the game competitive despite losing two rotation players seem like a passed mental test for the young set.

Next probably came one of, if not the craziest days ever for Spurs. Friday seemed like a normal game day, notable only for the fact that they would be welcoming former Spur DeMar DeRozan back to town (where he would join the 20,000-point club against his former team), but everything took a turn for the worse. couple of hours before the warning. with the sudden and obscure announcement that Josh Primo had been waived (for what we later learn are very disturbing reasons). For the second game in a row, Spurs would have been forgiven for going down in the emotional state of shock they must have been in, but once again they exceeded all expectations, coming out strong to take an early lead from two digits against the more talented Bulls and holding on for the win as a surging Keldon Johnson matched DeRozan’s exit.

Finally, the Spurs ended the week with a third start against the Timberwolves, now even shorter without Devin Vassell, Jeremy Sochan, Josh Richardson and Isaiah Roby, not to mention Blake Wesley who was missed for the game. Again, this would have been an excusable loss, but the Spurs once again used their new team basketball identity to play over their heads (or are they?) and beat a lethargic Minnesota squad that may have some problems to solve. I don’t know who or what this Spurs team is, but they sure are fun.


Statistics of the week: 31.1 assists per game

Through seven games, the Spurs, the pre-ordained leaderless, pointless Spurs, are leading the league in assists. Let that sink in when you consider that they are dishing out assists at a historic rate. Add that to another inexplicable thing about his team.


Power ratings

John Schuhman: NBA.com -12 (Last week: 23)

OffRtg: 114.1 (11) DefRtg: 114.3 (21) NetRtg: -0.2 (15) Rhythm: 103.6 (3)

Last season, the Spurs went 34-48 with the point differential (plus-10 in 82 games) over a team that went 41-41. This season, they are 5-2, having been outscored by a total of four points in their seven games. But while none of their five wins have only been by double digits two of the five have been within five points in the last five minutes. His narrowest escape came against the Bulls on Friday, when it quickly turned into a turnover a robbery and a bucket that gave them a four-point lead in the final minute. With their lack of primary ball handlers, the Spurs 29th place in turnover rate (16.0 per 100 possessions). And with the added burden of handling the ball on his shoulders, Tre Jones’ assist/stay ratio (5.07 – second in the league last season) has been cut in half (2.31).

The Spurs still rank 11th offensively, despite turnovers and the absence of Devin Vassell for the past three games. They continue to shoot well (and more often) from 3-point range, and are one of five teams to outscore their opponents by more than 10 points per game from beyond the arc. (Last season, they were 22nd in 3-point differential at under 2.5 points per game.) Keldon Johnson and Doug McDermott were 12-for-24 since the Spurs’ win over Minnesota on Sunday and are both. 6 from 7 to 3s from the left corner for the season

We’ll see how sustainable the shoot is. The look of basketball the Josh Primo situation he’s obviously secondary, but the Spurs now have one less prospect to develop and one less guy to handle the ball. That’s two games in a stretch where they’ll play eight of nine at home, but the next seven are against the Raptors, Clippers, Nuggets (x 2), Grizzlies, Bucks and Warriors. If they’re still .500 or better after that, they’ll surely be taken more seriously than the Wolves took them during their three meetings last week.

Kyle Wood: Sports Illustrated -13 (Last week: 22)

Few teams score more than San Antonio, and they had a great time putting the ball in the basket last week three fights with the Timberwolves and a win against the Bulls. The Spurs lead the NBA in assists per game with 31.1 and everyone is getting in on the action: Five players are averaging at least three dimes. San Antonio’s defense will allow teams to run up and down the court and keep them on pace, but so far they’ve come out on top more often than not in their high-scoring contests.

Enzo Flojo: Clutch points — 11 (Last week: 19)

This team is the highest climber in our Week 3 NBA Power Rankings. Tre Jones has been solid and Josh Richardson is having a career year. Also, the trio of Devin Vassell, Keldon Johnson and Jakob Poeltl has looked like the real deal. There’s no way this will last though, so let’s enjoy it while we can.


Going up: Wed. 11/2 vs. Toronto Raptors (3-3); friday 11/4 vs. Los Angeles Clippers (2-4); sat 5/11 @ Denver Nuggets (4-2)

Prediction 2-1: I clearly underestimated these Spurs when I predicted 1-3 last week, so I won’t make that mistake again. This isn’t an easy week against three should-be playoff teams, but I’m a believer now and will say they take care of business at home against an average Raptors club and a struggling Clippers team (especially if Kawhi Leonard is still resting for reasons). to knee strain: As of this writing, he has missed three straight games). Then, I think the Spurs will take the L in the Mile High City, but they’ll have a chance to get it back next week when Denver comes to San Antonio as part of a mini-series away from home.





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