The San Antonio Spurs closed out their four-game road trip with a 108-94 loss to the Boston Celtics at TD Garden on Monday night.
The loss was the third straight for San Antonio, who continue to have defensive woes. Below is what went good and bad for the Silver and Black as well as three standout players: Brandon Paul, Rudy Gay, and LaMarcus Aldridge.
- Brandon Paul got some serious minutes and continues to impress both the coaching staff and fans. More on that in the standout players section.
- Despite the loss, San Antonio got back on track from three-point range, finishing 12-of-26 from beyond the arc.
- Patty Mills’ struggles continue early on in the season. Teams have figured out how to guard the Aussie guard, not giving him space to get his shot off. This is one of the main reasons for his struggles. Monday he finished 3-of-10 for seven points.
- Possibly the fatigue had an effect, but the Spurs were not sharp from the free throw line on Monday. San Antonio finished 10-of-20 from the charity stripe, including Aldridge and Gay each missing a pair.
- Once again, the starters looked out of it in Boston, just as they had 24 hours prior in Indiana on Sunday. That is something to be concerned about if you are Gregg Popovich.
- Team defense struggled once again. Boston got to the rim with ease, had open shots and drew fouls. The Spurs looked lost on the defensive end without Kawhi Leonard on the floor.
Brandon Paul: The rookie forward got significant playing time on Monday and had his best showing yet. Paul finished with a career-high 18 points on 6-of-8 shooting and shot 75 percent from three point range.
Paul’s shooting may have been better than advertised and he continues to show fans why the Spurs’ coaching staff was so high on him during training camp and the preseason. He converted a corner three-pointer and was fouled to complete the rare four-point play. Paul had a block on Marcus Smart and had two assists and a steal.
Pop likes to have his players earn their playing time and it’s highly possible Paul may be on the floor more often as the season goes on.
Rudy Gay: The newest Spur finished with 14 points off the bench and did his best to help get Boston’s swarming defense off of LaMarcus Aldridge. With Leonard still out, the Celtics set their target on Aldridge to double team and make his life uncomfortable on the floor.
Gay did his best to provide help for LaMarcus as he pulled up for three’s, slashed his way through the paint, and got to the rim.
LaMarcus Aldridge: The Spurs forward did not have the best game, but still contributed despite an aggressive Boston defense. Aldridge finished with 11 points on 5-of-13 shooting and five rebounds.
The good news is Aldridge and Gay continue to have solid chemistry on the court together. The pair found each other for buckets and passed the ball well. Both players being in sync will likely be important once Leonard comes back from injury and is rusty as expected.
Up next: The Spurs are now 4-3 on the season and will return to the court on Thursday when they open a six-game homestand against the Golden State Warriors at the AT&T Center at 7 p.m.