The Spurs And The Season Long Turnover Plague

Read the defense. Crisp passes. Constant motion. Screens and cuts for days.

The San Antonio Spurs offense is nothing scientific or unworldly. And it’s nothing too new either. At least for most of these guys on the roster.

But after Sunday afternoon’s miracle comeback, followed by Wednesday night’s absolute shellacking, one has to wonder – What’s actually wrong with the Spurs offense?

“It’s 24 turnovers,” Gregg Popovich said. “That’s been something that’s hurt us all year long. When we’ve had games like that we have been unsuccessful. Tonight was 24 turnovers and I think it was 33 points. That’s been a weak link for us throughout the year when we have lost a game and that has showed up tonight.”

In their four regular season contests, the Spurs averaged just less than 15 turnovers per game against the Mavericks, in route to the season sweep. San Antonio was tied with Washington for 15th in turnovers this season, coughing the ball up an average of 14.1 times per game. But ironically enough, including Wednesday’s Game 2, the Spurs are 4-2 in contests where they’ve turned the ball over more than 20 times. The only other loss came against the Clippers back in December.

Though the Mavericks deserve credit for how they’ve defended the Spurs so far, with their physicality and in-game adjustments, the Spurs carelessness is also much to blame for their Game 2 struggles. Dallas turning those 24 turnovers into 33 points was just the Mavericks adding salt to the Spurs wounds.

While it may seem like the sky is (temporarily) falling, most of the Spurs problems are fixable. The lack of transition defense and the constantly stalling offense, is just a matter of effort and finding the right lineup that can blow the door open on Dallas. Mills, Belinelli and Diaw are all struggling mightily so far. And those three are arguably the Spurs best bench playmakers.

With the series shifting to Dallas, it’s going to be harder for San Antonio to get into their groove offensive and defensively, but it’s nothing this team isn’t capable of doing. And we should fully expect Coach Pop to give this team a harsh reminder of what’s expected of them, when they practice before flying out to Dallas on Friday.

About John Diaz

John is a University of Houston student studying journalism and a jack of all trades (but master of none) for the Project Spurs Network. His other titles include managing editor of Spurs on Sixth and associate editor of Texas Redzone Report. You may follow him on Twitter @byjohndiaz.