SAN ANTONIO – Thanksgiving is here and, unfortunately, there is not much Spurs fans can be thankful for at the moment. Welcome to the KSAT.com Spurs newsletter.
It’s been a difficult stretch for the Silver and Black, who have now lost nine out of 10 games and currently sit in 13th place in the Western Conference.
The Spurs lone win during this stretch was against the lowly Knicks, but there have been some signs of life.
Derrick White started the previous two games and the team has responded with better first-quarter performances.
Closing out games, as we saw with the Lakers contest, has been a different story.
San Antonio is competing, but as losses accumulate we will see more speculation about a possible DeMar DeRozan trade or some other roster shakeup.
Oh and by the way, Kawhi Leonard and the Clippers return Friday, so it will not get any easier. San Antonio will have to dig themselves out of this hole.
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POP SOUND OF WEEK: The Spurs head coach said the team is on the “right track” after loss to Lakers and discusses Derrick White starting at point guard while Dejounte comes off bench. Watch here.
ROUND BALL ROUNDTABLE: How will the Spurs fare this week and what fan reaction do you expect with Kawhi Leonard’s return?
This is going to be a tough week for the Spurs at home with the Wolves and Clippers games remaining in this three-game home stand. I don’t see the Spurs beating the Clippers if Kawhi Leonard plays, but that is a big question mark since he has missed games with various injuries. As far as his reception, if he plays, he will be booed by Spurs fans who blame Kawhi for the position the Spurs have been left in, patching a team together after his orchestrated departure from San Antonio.
I think the Spurs will go 1-1 in the next two games. Beat the Timberwolves and lose to the Clippers. If Kawhi sits, then I think the Spurs win that game as well. I expect Kawhi will hear some boos from fans. Probably not like his first trip back since leaving, though.
If the Spurs can maintain the energy and execution they displayed in their win over the Knicks and the first three quarters of their loss to the Lakers, they will have a great shot at beating Minnesota. The Spurs have gotten off to better starts with Derrick White in the starting lineup and there is more comfort, consistency and confidence. Kawhi Leonard returns and brings Paul George with him. Even though they are formidable, they may not be as overpowering as LeBron James and Anthony Davis. As far as the fans, they do not forget despite Kawhi being a year removed from leaving the Spurs. Leonard can expect a rousing welcome of boos.
The Spurs are quickly losing ground in the West so the Timberwolves game is as close to a must-win as any. Get that one and you have some good momentum headed into the Clippers game. If Leonard and Paul George suit up and play well, then it would be a lot to overcome and I think San Antonio falls to LA. I don’t think Leonard wants to go 0-2 in SA after leaving the Spurs. I expect much of the same as last year from the fans, especially since it’s been a down year for the Spurs.
PLAYER SOUND OF WEEK: DeMar DeRozan on tough stretch: “Everyone hates losing, it sucks to lose." DeMar also makes mountain analogy for team digging its way out of a hole.
OFF COURT STORY OF WEEK: LeBron James, Danny Green, other Lakers players hit up Mi Tierra after win against Spurs
POWER RANKINGS PULSE (The fall continues):
SPURS SCHEDULE LOOK AHEAD:
Nov. 27: vs Minnesota Timberwolves
Nov. 29: vs LA Clippers
Dec. 1: at Detroit Pistons
Dec. 3: vs Houston Rockets
KEY GAME/MATCHUP OF WEEK:
As bad as this season has been, nothing would be more satisfying for Spurs fans than a victory over Kawhi Leonard and the Clippers the day after Thanksgiving. In their previous meeting, Los Angeles beat San Antonio 103-97 and Leonard scored 38! I imagine he’ll be primed for his first victory in San Antonio.
The most interesting Spur in the world, or former Spurs player, is Manu Ginobili, with Boris Diaw a close second. What has Manu been up to? Well, you know things are rough for Spurs nation when Manu goes radio silent on Twitter, which was apparently the case this week. We need Manu more than ever nowadays so here’s a link to some of the best Ginobili moments on the court! MANU. FOREVER.
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