For the second night in a row, the San Antonio Spurs experienced humiliation. After a huge beating in Minneapolis, against the Timberwolves 128-89, Gregg Popovich and his boys were annihilated in front of their fans against the Houston Rockets 136-105, in what was supposed to be the game of the night.
It was their fifth defeat in the latest 7 contests.
Coach Popovich stood up in front of the reporters and said that these losses are only his fault and that he needs to improve certain aspects of his game plans.
“It’s a game where you try to continue to get better at all aspects,” Popovich said. “We’re obviously discombobulated on offense. So a lot of that has to do with me. I’ve got to do a better job there.”
— Stadium Astro (@stadiumastro) December 1, 2018
Spurs head coach didn’t want to put any blame on his team.
On the other side, the players were in the same mood. We saw an awful lot of self-criticism and some of the players like Patty Mills were direct.
“Guys feel embarrassed and deflated, and rightfully so,” the guard said. “It’s the big picture.”
The leader of the team DeMar DeRozan was hugely disappointed during the post-game interview, and he didn’t want to hide his feelings. While answering the reporters, Compton native was a quitter than usual with a certain dose of shame.
“We just out there thinking too much.” DeRozan said ” We just got to go out there and play. You know? Make the proper reads. Not second guessing, and not kind of be in mud, and kind of a came back if we miss a couple of shots, deflate us, to carry over defensively as well.”
Four-time All-Star didn’t want to hide anything which is why he stated at one point of the interview, that his team doesn’t have enough confidence. It came after the question of one of the reporters which regarded Spurs’ three-point shooting.
According to the statistics, they have the best 3-point percentage in the whole league, but they come second to the last when looking at the volume of the shots.
DeRozan answered, saying that his teammates don’t have the confidence to make more open shots at the moment, but as soon as they find the rhythm, everything will be much better.
“… We will start to get more open shots. You know once that confidence gets involved. You know, our confidence is not there right now. ”
So, as you see, the word “confidence” is the crucial one in Spurs’ plan to get out from this situation. Right now, five-time champions are 14th on the West, with 10 wins and 12 losses, but not far behind the Dallas Mavericks who are 8th, with 10-10. Having in mind that they have only three wins over the past 10 contests, this gap is not so big as it could be.
While DeRozan puts up his usual numbers and leads the team in scoring, with 23.8 points per night, the one guy who isn’t there when needed the most in LaMarcus Aldridge. His numbers might say the opposite thing, but the inconsistency in the attacking part of the game is just too big.
— SLAM (@SLAMonline) November 25, 2018
Without Dejounte Murray who is lost for the whole season after tearing his ACL, San Antonio has to find a way to cover up that setback. In coach Popovich philosophy, point guard spot is the crucial one, which is why Murray’s injury is so troubling for the Spurs.
Patty Mills and Bryan Forbes are doing a solid job replacing him, but as DeRozan stated, confidence is something which lacks these two also.
Up next the Spurs are hosting the Trail Blazers, then have a game in Salt Lake against Utah, and back-to-back contests with the Lakers. Not an easy schedule, but a perfect one to test team’s morale and mental strength.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.