Despite the return of Kawhi Leonard, the Spurs fell to the Mavs, 95-89 Tuesday night in Dallas. Leonard came out strong for his first game back since May of this year. The Spurs’ star scored 13 points, 6 rebounds, and 1 assist.
Going up against the current #1 seed Houston Rockets, the Spurs, even with their star player back, were unable to get passed the Rockets who outscored the Spurs 124 to 109. LaMarcus Aldridge led the way for the Spurs with 16 point and 6 rebounds in 27 minutes.
Playing the Mavs for the second time in 5 days, the Spurs finally got their first win after Kawhi Leonard’s return; however, Kawhi did not play. San Antonio, with the help of a Manu Ginobili game winner, got the 98-96 win against Dallas, at home. LaMarcus Aldridge had 22 points and 14 rebounds.
Week in Review
The Spurs, who have managed to stay in good standing without their star player, finally saw Leonard’s return this week. Still, much growing and chemistry building must take place before the full potential of the San Antonio roster can actually be visible.
In Leonard’s absence, the Spurs have done their best to fill the gaps with several players stepping up to do their part. While the most obvious of these remains LaMarcus Aldridge, an All-Star in his own right, other players have rotated on the secondary dependency and clutch dependency list.
One of the most surprising and exciting of these players has been Manu Ginobili. Ginobili, in his 40-year-old state, has given the Spurs the push they need during multiple close situations, especially by giving the Spurs two game-winners in the past two weeks. Although this phenomenal play from Ginobili is inherently welcomed and appreciated, the Spurs absolutely need that type of confidence, drive, and passion from any of their younger roster members.
While the Spurs need some consistency from their supporters, one positive aspect of Kawhi Leonard’s return is the continued standout play from Aldridge. Although the Spurs lost both of the games they played with Leonard in the lineup, the dependability and consistency of Aldridge’s play to this point in the season has remained consistent in the games Leonard played in. If Aldridge can continue to be the force he has proven he can be, when Leonard finally reaches 100 percent, the Spurs could rival the league’s top powers.
In the week ahead the Spurs will face Blake Griffon and the LA Clippers in San Antonio tonight. Then, they will kick-off a three-game road trip with a game against the Portland Trailblazers on Wednesday, followed by game two of a back-to-back as they go head-to-head with the Jazz in Utah. Finally, they will go to Sacramento to play the Kings Saturday night to conclude their road trip.