Despite holding a double-digit lead, the San Antonio Spurs fell 108-100 to the Atlanta Hawks (3-3) on Tuesday night. The loss is the second straight for the Spurs, who will now open a three-game homestand.
In case you missed it, here are three thoughts from the game:
Paging Dejounte Murray
The first thing you will notice if you look at the stats sheet is the play of Dejounte Murray. The young point guard struggled on Tuesday, finishing with just three points on 1-of-7 shooting in just 19 minutes of action due to both minutes restriction and foul trouble. He was clunky offensively as he looked to have little confidence in his jump shot, including missing both of his shots from beyond the arc.
Murray’s struggles had a major effect on the entire team. Without Murray attacking the rim, San Antonio had just 34 points in the paint. That’s their lowest amount so far this season. In addition to Murray, Derrick White also had his fair share of issues as he had just five points on the night. Combined, White and Murray had eight points on 2-of-13 shooting.
The Spurs will need Murray to play more consistently as the season goes on. It will be hard to win with him and White putting up poor numbers. Especially in a winnable game like Tuesday night.
Tuesday night saw San Antonio struggle defensively for the second consecutive game. Atlanta scored 38 points in the fourth quarter, the most allowed in a single quarter by the Spurs this season. The Hawks shot 57 percent from the field and converted six three-pointers.
Trae Young killed the Spurs with 30 points on the game with Derrick White, Bryn Forbes, and Murray all having their issues guarding the point guard. At one point, White was stuck in the low post guarding no one.
It is these defensive issues that have plagued the Silver and Black the past two seasons and despite a 3-0 start, the Spurs are just 1-3 in their last four games. This can be squarely put on the defense, who has allowed 106 points per game in that stretch.
Cold from 3
In the new modern NBA, everyone is taking shots from beyond the arc. The Spurs have struggled from three so far in the 2019-20 season and that was the case again on Tuesday night. San Antonio shot just 8-for-33 (24 percent) after they shot 33 percent the previous game against the Lakers.
The Spurs’ big three-point shooters have also been cold so far. Tuesday saw Bryn Forbes go 2-for-9, Marco Belinelli go 1-for-6, Rudy Gay went 0-for-4, and Derrick White was 1-for-4. Only Patty Mills was hot from three, converting 3-of-4 shots from beyond the arc.
In this modern NBA, the Spurs will have to hit from three-point land on a much more consistent rate in order to be successful moving forward. That is one of the bigger concerns for this club moving forward as teams gel and more games get played.
The Spurs are now 4-3 on the season and will return to the court on Thursday when they welcome the Oklahoma City Thunder (3-4) to the AT&T Center at 7:30 p.m.