So today I’m going to recap what happened in the Spurs Wizards game last night. As I had written yesterday, I was pretty confident that the Spurs would squeeze out a victory of 3 or more points. What convinced me of this, as I wrote, was the thought that the Spurs, having lost 6 straight games, would have a major sense of urgency to right the ship against a Wizards team that I believed did not have much continuity/team chemistry and (or) motivation to actually compete for an entire 48 minutes.
So, what did I get wrong? For starters, from watching the game, I did not see that sense of urgency that I thought I would see from a team trying to end a 6 game losing streak, let alone a team coached by the legendary Gregg Popovich. I don’t see any leaders on this team, plain and simple. Demar Derozan and LaMarcus Aldridge looked fairly indifferent to all that was going on, and the defense right now is completely non-existent. Davis Bertans once again killed the Spurs, going for 21 points against his former team. While I thought Bertans would have less success in this one compared to the first meeting earlier this year, it was Ish Smith going 9-12 from the floor that really gave the Wizards bench an extra boost to get them over the hump. The Wizards shot over 58% from the field and were 60% from 3. You will not lose many games with those types of numbers, and the Spurs just weren’t capable of stringing together consecutive stops at a time.
If there is any team that you don’t want to count out, it’s usually the San Antonio Spurs. They’ve found a way year after year to make the playoffs, becoming the model of consistency in the NBA. BUT, Spurs fans, I’m afraid it’s time to officially sound the alarms. The Western Conference is unforgiving. They couldn’t stop a Wizards team that is full of fringe NBA players and role players for the most part, and I’m not seeing much improvement from those who have been with the organization. Normally I would caution against overreaction to a single loss, but this is more of a reaction to their overall body of work up to this point. The Spurs are 5-10 at the moment, with a 1-6 record on the road. At the very least they need to split their next two games at Philly and at the Knicks in Madison Square Garden. If they lose these next two games to fall to 5-12 with games against the Lakers and Clippers on the horizon? Not. Good.
1997. That’s over 20 years. Kobe’s rookie season. That is the last time the Spurs missed the playoffs. If they don’t get it turned around ASAP, an amazing run will come to an end.