Spurs struggle to start off season


Courtesy of Paisano Media

Dalton Hartmann

The 2019-2020 San Antonio Spurs season started off strong with the return of Spurs starting point guard Dejounte Murray, who was on his way to having a breakout season before he tore his ACL during the 2018 preseason. The Spurs were 4-1 heading into the week of Nov. 3, only losing to the Los Angeles Clippers, who, to most, are the favorites for getting out of the Western Conference. The Spurs would go on to face the Atlanta Hawks, Oklahoma City Thunder, Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics. My predictions was that the Spurs would end up with 3-1 only losing to the Celtics. Unfortunately, the Spurs ended up 1-3 for the week losing to the Celtics, the Hawks and the Lakers, leaving them 5-4 at the ninth seed in the Western Conference.

The first game of the week was against the Lakers. I predicted the Spurs winning this in a close fashion since the Lakers were on the road and their defense looked weak in their last couple of games. However, Anthony Davis and Dwight Howard had strong games defensively, and Lebron James put up a triple-double with 21 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds. It was not all bad for the Spurs, with Murray and Rudy Gay each recording double-doubles with rebounds and points, and DeMar DeRozan showing that he can guard Davis one-on-one, which could be huge in their rematch on Nov. 25.

-Final score 103-96 Lakers

The next game for the Spurs was against the Hawks in which the Spurs lost in a heart-breaking fashion with a fourth quarter comeback led by Trae Young. I predicted the Spurs to win this game with a large margin since the Hawks appeared to struggle in almost every game against a team who was considered to be in the top half. My prediction appeared to be true until the fourth quarter when the Hawks outscored the Spurs 38-22 with Young scoring 16 points. The Spurs put up a good fight, with four Spurs scoring double-digits, led by DeRozan with 22. However, their inability to guard beyond the arc was a bit troubling. With three-point shooting becoming such an important factor in the league, having a strong wing defender is important, and no one on the Spurs stepped up to the role during the fourth quarter.

-Final score 100-108 Hawks.

The only win by the Spurs this week was against the Thunder, who are currently rebuilding after losing their franchise player, Russell Westbrook, and their number two, Paul George. The Spurs played well this game with their ability to create mismatches through screens and easy points with the pick and roll. LaMarcus Aldridge led the game in points with 39, utilizing his ability to shoot over defenders and the occasional put back on offensive rebounds. The Spurs had a good game when it came to getting second-chance points with 12 offensive rebounds compared to the Thunder’s four. Overall, this was a good win for the Spurs and may be the decider for whether they make the playoffs in such a stacked Western Conference where every game matters.

-Final score 112-121 Spurs.