Spurs Week 2 Recap

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Graphic by John Diaz

Six games into the regular season, and still without Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker, the Spurs currently hold a record of 4-2.

The Spurs started the season off with a few great games and performances from various players including LaMarcus Aldridge, Dejounte Murray, Danny Green, Rudy Gay, Manu Ginobili and Pau Gasol.

Spurs 101 – Raptors 97

The Spurs came up with a hard-fought win against the Toronto Raptors last Monday night after a mostly close game. After falling behind by as many as six in the eventful fourth quarter, the Spurs, led by Aldridge, fought their way back to eventually win by 13.

The Spurs shot 44.4% and struggled from the three only making 5 of 20 shots. In addition to long-range shooting struggles, the Spurs also committed 20 turnovers. Nonetheless, San Antonio managed to win in front of an ecstatic AT&T Center crowd.

Some standout performers against the Raptors were LaMarcus Aldridge, Dejounte Murray and Danny Green.

LaMarcus Aldridge

For the third consecutive game, LaMarcus Aldridge led the Spurs in scoring with 20. Although he was quiet offensively for the first three quarters, Aldridge scored 10 of his 20 points when the Spurs needed them the most, in the fourth quarter. In 36 minutes, Aldridge shot 43.7% from the field and came down with eight rebounds.

Aldridge looked much livelier than he has in his two previous seasons with the Spurs, celebrating tough baskets and even getting into a scuffle with Serge Ibaka after an Ibaka foul on Aldridge.

Dejounte Murray

The second-year point guard continues to impress with his consistently energetic style-of-play. Murray was the third highest scorer for the Spurs with 16 points on 50% shooting. On a huge rebounding night for the Spurs, he also contributed with 6 assists and earned his first double-double of the season with 15 rebounds, only the second Spurs guard, along with Manu Ginobili, to do so.

Danny Green

Scoring second highest for the Spurs against the Raptors, Danny Green came out strong with 17 points on 6-for-15 shooting with three of those coming from beyond the arc. The Spurs veteran also contributed to the team’s 55 rebounds with eight boards of his own.

Spurs 117 Heat 100

The Spurs began a four-game road trip Wednesday night finding success on offense, shooting 55.3 from the field in a win against the Miami Heat, led once again by Aldridge who had 31 points on 12 for 20 shooting and seven rebounds.

The Spurs and Heat were neck and neck throughout most of the game until a run toward the end of the 3rd quarter with 11 points from Rudy Gay and a few 3-pointers from Manu Ginobili.

While Aldridge, who is averaging 24.3 points per game, continued to surprise many, he did have help from a few key players including, Rudy Gay (22), Danny Green (15), and Manu Ginobili (14).

Rudy Gay

Averaging the most points off the bench for the Spurs with 12.3 points per game, Gay shot 75% to help push the Spurs past the Heat with 22 points and four assists. The shooting guard scored 15 points in the last five minutes of the 3rd and first two of the 4th.

Danny Green

With a lights-out shooting night (85.7%), Green contributed with 15 points, nine from beyond the arc, seven rebounds and three assists. Green, who struggled offensively over the last few years, is currently the second highest scorer on the roster with 14.3 points per game and the block leader with 2.3.

Manu Ginobili

The 40-year-old Spurs veteran who almost retired has enjoyed an impressive first four games of the season. Ginobili was the second-highest scorer off the bench with 14 points on 50% shooting. Manu also came up with three rebounds and made two key three-pointers during the Spurs’ run in the 3rd quarter.

Spurs 87 Magic 114

After four straight wins, the Spurs fell to former Spur, Jonathon Simmons, and the Orlando Magic Friday night. Led by Aldridge who had 24 points in 30 minutes, only two other Spurs, Pau Gasol and Patty Mills, scored in double digits with 12 each. Aside from Mills, the bench scored 25 points.

Offensively, the main struggles Friday night came from starting performances. Kyle Anderson, Dejounte Murray and Danny Green each only played 22, 20, and 18 minutes respectively. Murray scored seven points, Anderson had four, and Green put down another three while all shooting 25% or less.

The silver and black shot 33.7% from the field and a just 16.7% from 3-point range (4-24). The only real hope the Spurs had came from Aldridge, the top scorer of the game and the team leading scorer on the season. Without much support, a double-double of 24 points and 11 rebounds from Aldridge couldn’t help power the Spurs past the 4-1 magic.

Defensively, the Spurs didn’t live up to their previous defensive caliber by allowing the magic to shoot 57.1% and 47.8% from downtown. The Magic retained a large lead over the Spurs by halftime at 61-34. Coupled with the offense performance, the defense only worsened the Spurs’ chances of coming out with a win Friday night.

For the first time this season, the Spurs seemed to miss Kawhi Leonard who has yet to play in the 2017-2018 season.

Spurs 94 – Pacers 97

In game three of a four-game road trip, the Spurs fell to the Indiana Pacers after a late-game run by Green. Aldridge and Gasol were the Spurs’ only real sparks throughout a game in which they mostly trailed.

The silver and black shot 40% and once again struggled from beyond the arc only making 9-of-28 attempts. After a fourth quarter filled with large runs from both teams, one late turnover from Danny Green seemed to strip the Spurs of their momentum as the Pacers ended up with a three from Victor Oladipo and a late game lead. The Spurs then missed an attempt from Aldridge to tie and an attempt from Patty Mills to send the game into overtime.

LaMarcus Aldridge

Aldridge scored 26 points and grabbed eight rebounds in 36 minutes to lead the Spurs in scoring for the sixth straight game. With at least 20 points in each game of this season. Aldridge is right behind David Robinson for the most 20+ point consecutive games to start a season.

Pau Gasol

The veteran finished with 17 in 30 minutes on 70% shooting and also came up with seven boards and five blocks. Although he’s had somewhat of a slow start to this season, Gasol showed he still has it in him.

Week in Review

After remaining undefeated for four straight games, the Spurs suffered two consecutive road losses as they continue to power through the start of this season without key players, Kawhi Leonard, and Tony Parker. Although they struggled in their last two games, the consistent play from power forward LaMarcus Aldridge is a welcome sight to see after two years of ups and downs with the seasoned vet.

Looking ahead, week three will start off as the Spurs will conclude their road trip against the Boston Celtics Monday night at 7:30 p.m. After the Boston matchup, they will start a six-game home stint with a game against the defending champion Golden State Warriors on Thursday at home. They will then play the Charlotte Hornets Friday and the Phoenix Suns Sunday.

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