Offensive woes hurt Spurs in Toronto: Three Standout Players

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TORONTO, CANADA - DECEMBER 5: LaMarcus Aldridge #12 of the San Antonio Spurs shoots the ball against the Toronto Raptors on December 5, 2017 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images)

A poor offensive night saw the San Antonio Spurs fall 86-83 to the Toronto Raptors at the Air Canada Centre on Friday night, wrapping up a three game road trip.

San Antonio struggled all night long to put the ball in the basket, including missing 16 consecutive shots in total from the end of the second quarter to midway through the third. LaMarcus Aldridge struggled to score against the tough bigs of Toronto.

Here is what went good and bad for the Spurs, as well as three standout players: LaMarcus Aldridge, Pau Gasol, and Patty Mills.

The Good:

  • Pau Gasol continues to show his leadership and lead by example with another solid performance.
  • Patty Mills had another solid night.
  • San Antonio’s defense held the Raptors to a season-low 86 points.

The Bad:

  • San Antonio missed 16 consecutive shots during the game, shooting 6-for-21 at one point in the second half.
  • The Spurs shot just 34 percent for the game.
  • LaMarcus Aldridge may have led the Spurs in scoring, but he had a very poor shooting night. He finished 6-of-25 from the floor, but credit Toronto’s defensive efforts in the paint.

Three Standout Players:

    LaMarcus Aldridge: He’s led the Spurs in the absence of Kawhi Leonard and on Friday, LaMarcus Aldridge did just that once again. Despite shooting just 24 percent, Aldridge finished with 17 points and 11 rebounds.

Aldridge struggled against Raptors big men Serge Ibaka and Jonas Valanciunas, but despite that did not give up. With the Spurs down 14, he scored 11 points in the third quarter to cut the deficit down heading into the final period of play.

    Pau Gasol: The NBA veteran center put up solid numbers for the silver and black on Friday. Gasol finished with 15 points and nine rebounds, combined with Aldridge’s numbers to even give the Spurs a shot to stay in the game.

Gasol’s veteran leadership came in handy late in the third quarter when the Spurs kept it close as he found Aldridge on several occasions near the basket. It is this type of leadership that the Spurs will need during a very tough February stretch.

    Patty Mills:  Perhaps the biggest bright spot for the Spurs on Friday was Patty Mills. Yes, no one shot the ball well as a team – but Mills’ performance spoke for itself.

Mills finished with 13 points on 4-of-14 shooting and showed he can still score when he is called upon. In all three games on the road trip, the Aussie guard had scored in double figures, let’s hope that its a sign of good things to come from Patty.

Up next:

The Spurs (30-17) will return home to welcome the Indiana Pacers (24-22) to the AT&T Center on Sunday night at 6 p.m. CST to kick off eight of the next nine at the friendly confines.

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