Approaching trade deadline, Spurs remain in playoff position

Dalton Hartmann, Assistant Magazine Editor

The San Antonio Spurs, as of March 22, are currently the seventh seed in the Western Conference. Over the past week, the Spurs have fallen in their seeding due to their strength of schedule but have looked competitive in almost all their games. The Spurs played the Detroit Pistons, The Chicago Bulls, the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Milwaukee Bucks, going 3-1 in these four games.

To start the week off, the Spurs played the Pistons, which ended in a decisive win for the Spurs. The game broke open in the second quarter, with the Spurs outscoring the Pistons 36-26. After the half, the Spurs were able to do it again with a 35-25 third quarter making this game all but won. While by no means was this game perfect for the Spurs, who committed 23 fouls and had 21 turnovers, it is still a win nonetheless. Neither LaMarcus Aldridge nor DeMar DeRozan played. Knowing that these two are the go-to guys for the Spurs and still being able to come away with a decisive win is great for this young roster looking to find their identity. 

Final: 109-99, Spurs

The next game the Spurs played in was against the Bulls. The Bulls have been a weaker team in the East, only being able to find wins when players like Zach LaVine and Lauri Markkanen are able to get hot. Unfortunately for the Spurs, that looked likely early on. LaVine was able to put up 29 in the game, with most of those coming early, which left the Spurs down 18 going into the half. While in the third the Spurs were able to close the gap to 13 points. The fourth is where the Spurs really made up their ground. The Spurs were able to go on a 17-0 run, which put them up 98-89 late in the fourth, basically putting the game out of reach for the Bulls. Playing from behind is very important for young teams to learn early on, and the Spurs have shown that they are able to do it. Thanks to the efforts of Jakob Poeltl, who had 20 points and 16 rebounds, the Spurs dominated the paint allowing for a great comeback.

Final: 106-99, Spurs

The Cavaliers were the third team the Spurs faced in their week of games. The Cavs have been finding a lot of success in their guards recently, with Colin Sexton and Darius Garland, and this game was no exception. Sexton and Garland combined for 58 of their team’s 110 points, but their front court other than Jarret Allen was unable to match them. Even with the Cavs guards putting up massive points, San Antonio matched them for the most part, with guards Derrick White putting up 17 points and Dejounte Murray having 22. With the Spurs guards having a great night, this was also the first time Derozan had been in the lineup in the past three games, and he looked great, putting up 20 points helping to take the win. 

Final: 116-110, Spurs

The final game of the week for the Spurs was against the Milwaukee Bucks who are the 3rd seed in the East. The Bucks are home to the Greek Freak, also known as Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Khris Middleton, making up one of the best scoring duos in the league. To open the game up, the Spurs took a massive lead 33-26 but faltered in the second quarter, only scoring 17 while allowing 31. The rest of the game was very close, with both teams going back and forth, but Antetokounmpo and Middleton were just too much for the Spurs to handle. Even though the Spurs lost this game, it could have been a lot worse if it was not for Lonnie Walker IV having a career-best performance scoring 31. While the Spurs do not have the star power to take down a team like the Bucks with LaMarcus out, they still managed to stay competitive, which is a great sign.

Final score: 113-120 Bucks.