Spurs fall to Blazers for first loss of season: Three Standout Players

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Photo: USA Today
HIGHLIGHTS:

The San Antonio Spurs suffered their first loss of the 2018-19 season, a 121-108 defeat to the Portland Trail Blazers (2-0) at the Moda Center on Saturday night.

Like Wednesday night, San Antonio struggled on the defensive end as they gave up 121 points to the Blazers after allowing Minnesota to score 108 in the season opener.

“We’re not disciplined defensively yet,” Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich said. “It’s going to take a while with a new group, basically. They run a really nice offense. It’s geared for their players and it’s hard to guard. We’re just not ready for that.”

Here is what went good and bad for the Spurs, as well as three standout players: DeMar DeRozan, Bryn Forbes, and Davis Bertans.

The Good:
  • DeMar DeRozan continues to show he is the type of scorer the Spurs have needed for a long time. In only his second game, he continues to show why he will be one of the main leaders for the Spurs offensively this season.
  • Davis Bertans and Bryn Forbes had a solid offensive night.
  • Despite playing only 13 minutes, Jakob Poeltl showed just how solid he can be next to Aldridge. He finished the game with two rebounds and two assists.
  • San Antonio continues to stay hot from three-point range as they connected 13 of their 30 attempts from deep. That’s 42.3 percent!
The Bad:
  • San Antonio struggled defensively for the second straight game. The Spurs have allowed an average of 114.5 points per game through two games as Portland scored 38 points in the third quarter to blow the game open.
  • LaMarcus Aldridge still can’t find his shot as he finished with just 12 points on 6-of-13 shooting on Saturday. Credit Portland’s defense as they guarded him very well but though two games, Aldridge is shooting 11-for-36 from the floor.
  • Patty Mills and Rudy Gay combined for 22 points but shot 38 and 36 percent respectively.
  • The Spurs had no answer for Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, who combined for 53 of Portland’s 121 points.
Three Standout Players

DeMar DeRozan

The Spurs got another good game from DeRozan as he continues to show what a force he can be once the Silver and Black lock things down defensively.

DeRozan finished with 28 points on 50 percent shooting while adding nine assists. The guard slashed his way through the Blazers defense on more than one occasion and took the lead when Gay and Aldridge were struggling.

When San Antonio has it clicking and starts to gel, their offense could rank as one of the best in the league.

Project Spurs illustration/San Antonio Express-News

Bryn Forbes

The guard has filled in for the injured Dejounte Murray and Derrick White and will continue to do so. While he has gotten flack from fans for his defense (or lack thereof), his offense continues to impress.

Forbes with 17 points, including going 5-for-8 from three-point range. He has shown more confidence with his shot and has become less hesitant when pulling up. Now, if he can just improve defensively, he will be that much more dangerous.

Project Spurs illustration/Associated Press

Davis Bertans

Davis Bertans continues to have a nice start to his season and contributed nicely off the bench on Saturday night.

Bertans finished with 11 points on 50 percent shooting and went 3-for-6 from downtown. The 25-year-old sharpshooter will be key to San Antonio’s bench production this season after Manu Ginobili retired during the offseason.

UP NEXT:

The Spurs are now 1-1 on the season and will return to the court on Monday when they face LeBron James and the LA Lakers (0-2) at the Staples Center at 9:30 pm CT.

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