SAN ANTONIO – After a couple of days off for some much needed rest and practice, the Spurs (5-2) will be back on the floor tonight to host their I-10 rivals, the Houston Rockets (4-3) for the first time this season.
It's early, but it has been a bit of a shocker of a season so far. San Antonio is 1-2 at the AT&T Center.
Last year's team only lost one game at home all season. Part of the problem can be attributed to a porous defense.
In both defeats, the Spurs have lost by an average of 19.5 points per game, giving up 116 to the Clippers. A problem they hope doesn't linger.
"Hopefully short term, you never know," said Manu Ginobili. "You can go back to last years tapes, oh tapes, who goes back to tapes right? Nobody goes to tapes, but my comments were always like were surprised on how well we had done from the beginning. This year no quite but it could turn any day."
Today would be a good day for it to turn. The Spurs are going to need to play much better defense tonight, especially around the perimeter.
The Rockets shoot 36 percent from three point range. James Harden has made 41 percent of his three point attempts.
"The way they spread the floor, the way they give Harden the ability to makes plays on the offensive end," Gasol said.
The Spurs will get Danny Green back after he missed the first seven games of the season. He has been missed on the defensive end of the court.
"The fact that Kawhi (Leonard) is on our team makes Danny's 'D' secondary, or people don't pay attention, but he has been very reliable," said Ginobili
There was kind of a strange atmosphere at the Spurs facility given the fact a few hours before shoot around, the country elected Donald Trump as its 45th president of the United States in an historic election.
"A hangover from the political environment," Ginobili said.
Even though he is not a citizen and couldn't vote, Ginobili said there was still a lot of interest and he was in touch with friends all night.
"It was an exciting moment, couldn't believe it what was happening. I don't think anybody could" Ginobili said.
"So it was quite exciting for some people, very disappointing for some others."
Ginobili related it to something that happened in his home country last year.
"The polls were basically all wrong and there was a big surprise especially in primaries so we were trained Argentinians for surprises," Ginobil said.
Gasol, also not allowed to vote, was also interested in the outcome even though it was outside his world of basketball.
"Understanding there is a lot going on outside important stuff that could effect lives of many not just in the country but outside of the country because the U.S. is such a powerful country, influential country," Gasol said.
While Green will be in the Spurs lineup tonight for the first time this season, starting point guard Tony Parker has been ruled out.
The Spurs announced Parker will miss tonight’s game because of soreness in his right knee.
Parker has missed the past two games. He is averaging 5.5 points and four assists per game in four games played this season.
Tip-off is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. CT.