Spurs vs. Pistons
Beginning their three-game home stand, the Spurs got a 96-93 win against the Detroit Pistons one day after their 90-87 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder. LaMarcus Aldridge, Pau Gasol, and Rudy Gay each had a double double as the team shot 100% from the free throw line in the win Monday night.
Spurs vs. Heat
Unselfish play and 30 assists for the night led the silver and black to outscore the Miami Heat 117-105 in the Wednesday night win. Aldridge’s 18 points, Bryn Forbes’ 17, and Gay’s 16 helped San Antonio to their second game in a row.
Spurs vs. Celtics
For their third and final game of their three-game home stand Friday night, the Spurs shot 46.9% and had five players in double figures as a late, clutch three-pointer by veteran Manu Ginobili with five seconds left in the game put the Spurs up 105-102 to end the game. Aldridge had 27 points and 10 rebounds to lead the way for the Spurs and hand the Celtics their first loss to a Western Conference team.
Spurs vs. Suns
In their first game back on the road, and without Gasol, Ginobili, Danny Green, Tony Parker, and Kawhi Leonard, the Spurs managed to outlast the Phoenix Suns, 104-101. LaMarcus Aldridge and Patty Mills tied for top scorers with 20 points each.
Week in Review
The Spurs went 4-0 in week 8, and managed to rest a few key players in the process. With the return of Kawhi Leonard likely to take place this week, the Spurs had the opportunity to rest and still performed well.
Throughout week eight, the Spurs saw some great contribution from veteran Manu Ginobili who, aside from his shaven head, looks as agile and clutch as ever. Against the Pistons, Ginobili was able to come up with a few key plays down the stretch that led to the Spurs victory.
Toward the end of the game following a Danny Green block and quick change of possession, Manu maintained composure as he drove from the left wing to the hoop, suspended himself midair, and made an un-defendable reverse layup. Defensively, Manu also kept tight on defense as the Pistons tried to give themselves a chance.
In addition to the much-welcomed assistance from Manu, Tony Parker came back from his quad injury like he never missed a game in his life. While the Spurs performed well enough without the veteran point guard, 35-year-old Parker’s presence on the court brings so much more than any of the Spurs backup guards have been able to accomplish.
Whether it’s his keen knowledge of where every teammate is at all times, or the fact that his reputation draws defenders, Tony Parker’s no-look, inside-outside passes have given the Spurs an added weapon on offense. Not to mention, San Antonio has slowed down their play and illustrated well-planned and well-executed plays called by arguably the best playmaker the Spurs have ever been so honored to call their own.
Week eight also brought on some solid performances from Gasol, who had two double doubles and provided Aldridge some relief on the boards at both ends of the court.
While the Spurs experienced conistently solid performances from veterans, one negative aspect remains that other players are still inconsistent. While Ginobili and Parker have been dependable since early on in their careers, players such as Danny Green, who was out with groin tightness, and Patty Mills haven’t been as consistent as they need to be.
Of course, even with the inconsistency of Green and Mills, the Spurs have a record of 19-8 without their star forward, Kawhi Leonard. With Leonard’s return likely this week, the Spurs will definitely see some adjustments.
Looking ahead to week nine, the Spurs will complete the final two games of their 3-game road trip as they head to Dallas to face the Mavericks on Tuesday and then Houston to play the Rockets on Friday before finally coming back to San Antonio to play the Mavericks again on Saturday.