The San Antonio Spurs could not overcome a slow start as they closed out 2017 with a 93-79 loss to the Detroit Pistons (20-15) at Little Caesars Arena on Saturday night.
San Antonio struggled from the opening tip going down 10-2 early in the first four minutes of the game and were outscored 14-3 the rest of the first quarter. The Spurs struggled offensively, allowing Detroit to score with ease.
According to Pop, it all came down to respect.
Pop: "Our guys didn’t respect their opponent, didn’t respect the game, the way it looked to me in the first quarter."
— Jeff McDonald (@JMcDonald_SAEN) December 31, 2017
Here is what went good and bad for the Spurs, as well as three standout players: LaMarcus Aldridge, Kawhi Leonard, Bryn Forbes.
- In such an ugly game for the Silver and Black, it is hard to find any good. Well, Kawhi Leonard saw his minutes get increased once again and played fairly well overall. It will be sooner rather than later that he gets fully back into game shape.
- LaMarcus Aldridge held his own against Detroit big man Andre Drummond.
- San Antonio struggled offensively, shooting 36 percent for the game. The Spurs scored a season-low 13 points in the first quarter and shot 24 percent in the period.
- Defensively, it was a struggle for the Silver and Black, who let rookie Luke Kennard and guard Reggie Bullock have their way all night long. The pair combined for 42 points and eight three pointers.
- Detroit was without Reggie Jackson, Avery Bradley, Jon Leuer and Stanley Johnson. With so many players out for the Pistons, this loss has some extra sting to it. The Spurs should have won this game, but possibly took Detroit for granted.
- San Antonio had a season-low 79 points. Their previous low came against the Minnesota Timberwolves in November, where they scored 86.
Three Standout Players:
LaMarcus Aldridge: The Spurs leading scorer held his own going up against Pistons big man Andre Drummond. Aldridge finished with 15 points on 6-of-15 shooting to go along with 11 rebounds.
Aldridge fought hard in the paint, but missed some makable shots. Credit the Pistons defense who were aggressive in the post and on the glass. Aldridge did not let the younger and quicker Drummond get to him defensively as he backed him down for the score as well as easily getting shots over Tabias Harris.
Kawhi Leonard: In his sixth game back, Kawhi Leonard continues to show his improvement. While he looked a tad winded and missed some shots he usually makes, Leonard put up 18 points on 4-of-11 shooting and had four turnovers.
Leonard’s injury management has him missing games and it is messing with his rhythm, but his minutes went up to 27 on Saturday night. He sliced his way to the paint, got aggressive on the offensive end, and overall played nice game. However, it will be awhile until he is fully back into game mode. Until then, the Spurs will continue to struggle in some games like they did on Saturday.
Bryn Forbes: The former Michigan State Spartan returned home and had a nice game in front of his friends and family. Forbes scored 10 points off the bench and was the bright spot in an otherwise poor offensive night for the Silver and Black.
Let’s hope he continues to come off the bench firing, it will only help his confidence.
The Spurs are now 25-12 on the season and will have a few days off to ring in the new year. The team will return to the court on Tuesday when they continue their road trip in New York against the Knicks at Madison Square Garden. Tip-off is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.