San Antonio Spurs Weekly: Learning Process Paves Way for Close Games


After going through week two undefeated, the Spurs are sitting on a 5-1 record and are first in the Western Conference standings.

While that’s a positive, they came relatively close to losing every game this week, to which they blame the learning process of the early regular season. Danny Green‘s offense is still missing, Boris Diaw is starting over Tiago Splitter and Kawhi Leonard is going through the growing pains of expanding his offensive game. It’s better to face these issues after game six though.

Week in Review

Nov. 5 @ Denver Nuggets – Win (102-94)
No Wilson Chandler, no Danilo Gallinari and the Nuggets still had position to win this game if they could’ve prevented the Spurs run in the fourth quarter. Facing a 78-72 deficit in the last 12 minutes, the Spurs outscored the Nuggets 30-16 to take home the win. Tony Parker finished with 24 points and six assists.

Nov. 6 vs. Phoenix Suns – Win (99-96)
Is it time we all start taking the Suns seriously? Currently holding 4-2 record, they gave the Spurs a close run on Wednesday, even without Goran Dragic. Markieff Morris and Marcus Morris combined for 34 points and 18 rebounds. Just when it looked like the Spurs were going to let this one slip out of their hands, Parker came through to save them with clutch shots that helped put Phoenix away.

Nov. 8 vs. Golden State Warriors – Win (76-74)
The last game in which the Spurs scored 76 or less? The 2010-11 season on Feb. 11 in a game against the Philadelphia 76ers (lost 77-71). With Warriors star Stephen Curry out of the game nursing a bruised left ankle, the team left the playmaking to Andre Iguodala and Toney Douglas, which didn’t work to their favor. The Spurs shot 39.2 percent from the field, while Golden State shot 40.8 percent. It was just a mess all around that we will most likely never see again out of this matchup.

Spur Needing to Sharpen: Tiago Splitter

Tiago Splitter

Six games into the season and Tiago Splitter is already back to coming off the bench. (NBA.com photo)

This week, the Brazilian big man averaged 8.3 points per game and 7.6 rebounds in less than 20 minutes per game. He lost his starting spot and hasn’t had any standout game to show he should have it back. Early in this season, the four-year, $36 million investment isn’t looking so good.

Reaching Out to Michael Redd?

 

 

Known for being one of the most effective shooters in the league during his prime with the Milwaukee Bucks, Michael Redd reportedly received interest a few teams, one being the Spurs, before announcing his retirement. If signed, he most likely would have seen spot minutes at the end of the swingman rotation, just as if Corey Maggette or Sam Young made the roster. It would have been a nice dose of nostalgia to see him in a Spurs jersey, but I wish the best of luck to Michael Redd in his future.

Looking Ahead

Nov. 10 @ New York Knicks
With Tyson Chandler out for four to six weeks with a right leg fracture, Amar’e Stoudemire continuing his fall down the cliff of his career and Andrea Bargnani still being Andrea Bargnani, the Spurs have no excuse to not take full advantage of the paint in this one.

Nov. 11 @ Philadelphia 76ers
It’s yet to be seen if the 76ers have fallen back to Earth after their season-opening wins that sent roars across the league. They can be another team to sneak up on the Spurs for a run, as we’ve seen out of San Antonio lately.

Nov. 13 vs. Washington Wizards
Nene is back to playing big minutes, Bradley Beal has already shown improvements from his rookie year and they still have John Wall. Another potential close game that the Spurs should be able to win steadily if they let the learning process excuse slip up again.

Nov. 15 @ Utah Jazz
At least one team that is tanking is doing it right. Currently, the Jazz still have no wins under their belt and look awful without a solid true point guard that’s able to play currently. The Jazz have given the Spurs fits before with the Al Jefferson-Paul Millsap combo, but can Enes Kanter and Derrick Favors pick up the slack in this matchup?

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Tags: Boris Diaw Danny Green Kawhi Leonard San Antonio Spurs Tiago Splitter Tony Parker