SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio Spurs opened their three game home-stand with a 96-93 victory over the Detroit Pistons at the AT&T Center on Monday night.
The victory comes 24 hours after San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich elected to sit LaMarcus Aldridge, Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker in the Spurs’ loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder. San Antonio fought to the end with the much improved Pistons as they used their signature defense to grind out a win.
Here’s what went good and bad for the Spurs, as well as three standout players: LaMarcus Aldridge, Davis Bertans, and Danny Green.
- Pop’s strategy of resting key players in Oklahoma City paid off. Aldridge, Rudy Gay, and Gasol all looked fresh and because of that, came up big down the stretch for the Silver and Black.
- During pregame, Kawhi Leonard had a press conference. He stated he is getting very close to returning to the court, but has not been medically cleared to play.
- Davis Bertans continues to get solid playing time and makes the most of it.
- San Antonio struggled offensively early in the game, having just 12 points with five minutes to go in the first quarter. However, a late three point flurry got them back into the swing of things late.
- The Spurs won despite their issues of committing turnovers. San Antonio turned the ball over 16 times on Monday, with Manu Ginobili committing four of them.
Three Standout Players:
LaMarcus Aldridge: After the start LaMarcus Aldridge off to this season, you knew he would be the focus of many team’s defense. Thus was the case as Detroit double teamed Aldridge early and often in the game. The Spurs forward was clearly frustrated in the first half as he missed some makable shots, but kicked it into gear in the second half.
Aldridge got into his shot before the double come and pounded the ball in the paint. For the night, Aldridge scored 17 points and pulled down ten rebounds. As Kawhi Leonard nears return, it will likely somewhat lessen the attention on Aldridge.
Davis Bertans: For the second straight night, Davis Bertans came up big for the Spurs and this time it led to a victory. Bertans came off the bench and scored 11 points, shooting 3-of-6 from three-point range. Pop used Bertans to help Aldridge and Pau Gasol in the paint against Piston big man Andre Drummond.
Bertans continues to prove time and time again just how valuable he can be for Pop and the Spurs if given the chance. Over the two nights, Bertans went 7-of-15 from three-point range.
Pretty good if you ask me.
Danny Green: The Spurs guard scored 11 points and hit some key three-pointers in the game, giving the Silver and Black a six point lead late in the fourth quarter.
However, the one thing that makes him standout was his huge block on Drummond. With the Spurs holding a lead, Drummond got the offensive board and went up for a shot, but Green got his hand on it, making a massive stop the Spurs needed.
While most rely on Green for this offensive ability, its good to remember and be reminded why he was on the All-defensive team last season.
Up next: The Sours are now 16-8 on the season and will return to the court on Wednesday when they welcome the Miami Heat to the AT&T Center at 7:30 p.m.