NBA

The Spurs were bounced by the Clippers and suffered their ninth loss in their last 10 games

The Spurs were bounced by the Clippers and suffered their ninth loss in their last 10 games

Late in the first quarter Saturday, the Spurs mishandled an unchallenged defensive board and gave the ball back to a team that had no issue handing over extra possessions. To be more specific, Charles Bassey and Isaiah Roby appeared to have slightly different ideas about a free defensive rebound, resulting in the ball going out of bounds.

There’s likely a common response to seeing both names as part of a team’s starting rotation, that somewhere before last night, things hadn’t gone as planned for San Antonio, and the cynical: Maybe things are going as planned. ? Anyway, the Spurs ended up losing to the Clippers, 119-97, with 9 losses in their last 10 games after a 5-2 start in the world.

It was an objectively flatter effort from Spurs than we’ve seen, even in most defeats. There used to be a little extra fire in the games against Kawhi Leonard, but that spark probably left with every player. Still, Jakob Poeltl (20 and 8) was his usual pick-and-roll problem and active on the offensive glass, and pick-and-roll teammate Tre Jones (6 points, 10 assists, still trying find last year’s floating touch) continues to best pocket pennies. Take the silver linings where you can get them.

But mostly, this one felt written after the first quarter in which the Clippers drained 9 three-pointers (in 16 attempts). Outscoring San Antonio 40-22 in the first, LA surgically picked apart a Spurs defense that rarely looked settled and showcased the talent gap between one of the league’s deepest rosters (Robert Covington somehow only dusted off during garbage time) and some Spurs. group that was also without Devin Vassell (sore left ankle), Romeo Langford (return to conditioning after health and safety protocols were introduced) and a handful of long-term injuries.

Game Notes:

  • When the Spurs aren’t shooting themselves in the foot they can hang with most teams, as was the case in the first half of the first quarter, when they kept it close without turning the ball over.
  • The Clippers were playing a Kawhi Leonard who is clearly still trying to find his legs. They also lost Paul George to a knee injury early after about 15 minutes of play, but got enough contributions from Reggie Jackson (20 points), Norm Powell (26) and John Wall (15 assists, 4 steals, 5 points ). .
  • The Spurs came into this game with some pretty awful numbers for the month of November, and not much will change after this one:
  • Pardon the hot take, but Jakob Poeltl is good at what he does, even when he’s not playing his best hand. Despite his lack of a jumper, he forces his man to make a tough decision about how aggressive to play him when he takes the ball 20 feet away from the basket, something we see regularly against LA. He punished drop coverage with his pop-a-shot or pulling ball handlers for open midrangers, but he also took advantage when an oncoming Ivica Zubac opened up a lane for him to take from the three-point line to the edge a few long steps. He also made all 4 free throws!
  • Sochan looked after us a bit more in this one, with the results less positive than in previous matches. He made 7 turnovers and looked more tempting than usual with the ball in his hands. Better projections to come.

Until next time:

The Spurs are at it again tomorrow in “the crypt,” this time against the much worse (and possibly less LeBron James) Los Angeles Lakers. This will be the first of three meetings between both teams in a week.





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