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Spurs newsletter: Dark days for Silver & Black; Popovich 'not here to make history’

Well Spurs fans, it has come to this. This is the unofficial Dark Days edition of the the KSAT.com Spurs newsletter.

The Silver and Black are essentially in a black hole of despair at the moment.

Six straight losses and three more road games before they return home to face the Lakers, Timberwolves and Clippers. Yikes.

During this cold streak, the Spurs have found every imaginable way to lose. Turnovers. Late-game meltdowns. An interesting coaching situation. Blown calls by officials. Luka Doncic dropping an incredible triple-double. At least you can say these games are interesting.

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Can they turn it around? Of course. It’s still early-ish, I guess. But as of this posting, the Spurs currently sit in 13th place in the West. Sigh. Let’s vent here, Spurs fans.

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If you have questions or comments about the newsletter, hit me up at rmarquez@ksat.com.

POP SOUND OF WEEK: The Spurs head coach said he’s “not here to make history” following his ejection Saturday and clarifying Tim Duncan was acting head coach, not Becky Hammon. His full response here.

Gregg Popovich postgame after Spurs fall to Blazers on Nov. 16.

LET’S CHECK OUT SOME HEADLINES:

DeRozan trade rumors surface as Spurs’ struggles continue

Luka Doncic makes history as Spurs lose sixth straight

Three-coach committee takes over after Popovich ejected, Spurs still fall to Blazers

ROUND BALL ROUNDTABLE: What is the biggest problem you see with the Spurs at the moment?

Inconsistent play is the biggest problem with the Spurs during this current six-game losing streak. It has led to slow starts that have the Spurs fighting to make up double digit deficits. Plus Dejounte Murray’s minutes restriction during his comeback from season-ending knee surgery has not helped ball distribution. That, and sharing the ball between DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge. But the biggest culprit is still the Spurs spotty defense.

They are too inconsistent at both ends of the court, which hurts them more defensively. Entering their game at Dallas, the Spurs were giving up 114.5 points per game - 11th most in the West out of 15 teams, and 28th worst in the NBA. The opposition is shooting 47.1 percent from the field overall. That is not Spurs basketball. Pop doesn’t often criticize the offense, but is quick to point out bad defense.

One of the biggest problems is the Spurs get off to slow starts while their opponents start fast. Their defense is lacking, especially on the perimeter and their interior defense breaks down too easy. They also play too much one-on-one basketball. Finally, they don’t take care of the ball and are averaging 14 turnovers a game. One the other hand, they show a lot of fight. Give them credit for coming back and at least giving themselves an opportunity to win each game during this streak.

Where to begin. Slow starts have doomed the Spurs and even when they comeback, it seems as if have no way to close out a game or make a costly mistake. I also think there is some chemistry lacking with the starting five. My hope is that when Murray gets off the minutes restriction, he can grow with White, and first and foremost help this defense because that has been very poor.

POWER RANKINGS PULSE (No longer dropping like a rock...plummeting!):

ESPN.com: 15th in NBA, dropped two more spots

SI.com: 19th in NBA, makes point of saying Spurs could be active at trade deadline

NBA.com: 20th in NBA, dropped six spots and there are real questions if the playoffs streak ends

PLAYER SOUND OF WEEK: DeMar DeRozan can’t get a late-game call to save his life! He recently expressed his frustration with officials, says apologies after reviews are ‘bulls***’ FULL VIDEO HERE.

DeRozan expresses frustration with officials after Spurs loss to Portland on Nov. 16.

SPURS SCHEDULE LOOK AHEAD:

Nov. 20: at Washington Wizards

Nov. 22: at Philadelphia Sixers

Nov. 23: at New York Knicks

Nov. 25: vs LA Lakers

KEY GAME/MATCHUP OF WEEK:

I’d like to say it’s the Lakers and facing LeBron James and Anthony Davis or facing a good Philly team. But any win would be big right now so containing Washington’s Bradley Beal and being less of a mess than the Knicks would be my games to watch.

OFF COURT STORY OF WEEK: Let’s look back at Tony Parker’s jersey retirement ceremony...the good 'ol days!

Tim, Manu, bats return: 9 best moments from Tony Parker jersey retirement ceremony

Former San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker, right, with former teammates Tim Duncan, left, and Manu Ginobili, center, watches as his jersey is unveiled during his retirement ceremony after the team's NBA basketball game against the Memphis Grizzlies in San Antonio, Monday, Nov. 11, 2019.

The most interesting Spur, or former Spurs player, in the world is Manu Ginobili with Boris Diaw a close second. What has Manu been up to? He started an “old athlete decathlon" and posted a pic of him playing table tennis with Matt Bonner. We also have pickleball action! MANU. FOREVER.

Manu Ginobili photo of him playing table tennis with Matt Bonner.

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