In the first game of a back-to-back, the Spurs outscored the Mavs 97-91 on the road Tuesday night. LaMarcus Aldridge and Patty Mills each had season high scoring nights, as Aldridge posted 32 points and Mills 19 points.
After a standout game against the Mavericks, the Spurs came out lethargic in Minnesota against the Timberwolves in their 98-86 loss Wednesday night. Despite outrebounding the young Timberwolves squad 45-41, the Spurs were unable to defend Minnesota in the second quarter in which they scored 39 points. Aldridge led the way for the Spurs with 15, while Pau Gasol and Patty Mills scored 13 each.
In a thrilling match against the revamped Oklahoma City Thunder team, the Spurs ended up with a late 104-101 win. After being down by as many as 23 points, Davis Bertans ignited the Spurs with some much needed 3-pointers to get San Antonio back into the game. Led once again by Aldridge who had 26, Danny Green and Gasol did their part with 17 and 14 respectively.
Week in Review
At the conclusion of week five of the regular season, the Spurs are 10-6, and continuing to grow as a unit without two of their main stars.
Without Kawhi Leonard and veteran point guard Tony Parker, the rest of the Spurs team, led by Aldridge, have had the opportunity to test their ability to play shorthanded. An interesting aspect of this Parker-less Spurs squad is the way in which the silver and black have combated the absence of arguably the franchise’s best point guard. As the Spurs demonstrated in their 104-101 win against the Thunder, they are able to hold their own against some elite teams without Leonard and Parker.
Without Parker, the Spurs have utilized multiple players to fill the playmaker’s shoes. Throughout the past week, and the entire season to this point, there were times in which there isn’t one set point-guard with Manu Ginobili, Mills, and Dejounte Murray switching roles from one play to the next.
The ability of the Spurs’ guards to rotate the role of the point position comes from the fact that the Spurs have a good selection of capable backcourt players. During week five, the Spurs utilized a small lineup on multiple occasions. The Spurs’ momentum sped up when Aldridge played at center with Anderson, Green, Ginobili, and Mills/Murray on the court.
Not only did the Spurs seem energetic on offense this week, but they also showed improvement on the defensive end of the court. Against Dallas Tuesday night, the silver and black had 9 total steals and 7 blocks.
While their defense has seemed more energetic in the last few weeks, the Spurs are also taking better care of the ball. Against the Mavericks, the Spurs ended the game with only 12 turnovers, while against the Thunder they ended with 13, but only 3 in the second half.
The Spurs have a two-day break now before they take on the Atlanta Hawks at home on Monday night. Then, they’ll head to New Orleans to match up against the Pelicans Wednesday before making their way to Charlotte where they’ll face the Hornets on Saturday.