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Spurs newsletter: DeMar’s poster dunk; Fan throws can at Spurs bench; Manu honors Bonner’s flannel shirt

(Spurs newsletter DeMar DeRozan photo via The Associated Press)
(Spurs newsletter DeMar DeRozan photo via The Associated Press) (AP Photo)

SAN ANTONIO – The Spurs are playing some of their best basketball of the year and beating the top teams in the Eastern Conference. There may be hope after all. Welcome to the KSAT.com Spurs newsletter.

San Antonio has beaten Milwaukee, Boston and Toronto in about a week’s time. The difference? They are taking and making more 3s, especially LaMarcus Aldridge.

Aldridge is shooting an average of 5.7 per game this month and making an incredible 53 percent behind the arc.

This has opened things inside for DeMar DeRozan, who’s been playing at a scorching level. He was named Western Conference Player of the Week and had arguably the dunk of the year in his second return to Toronto. It’s a thing of beauty.

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What was not a thing of beauty? A fan who was arrested for throwing a full can of an alcoholic beverage at the Spurs bench in Boston. It’s been an interesting week.

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

POP SOUND OF THE WEEK: The Spurs head coach interrupts DeMar DeRozan’s postgame press conference in Toronto. “He made a couple of baskets, big deal!” MORE HERE.

San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich points to his bench during the first half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers, Friday, Nov. 22, 2019, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich points to his bench during the first half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers, Friday, Nov. 22, 2019, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum) (Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Fan who threw can of alcoholic beverage toward Spurs bench gets lifetime ban

WATCH: DeRozan poster dunk arguably one of season’s best; Popovich hilariously interrupts DeMar interview

‘It was a silent dinner’: Patty Mills relives aftermath of Game 6 loss to Heat, talks Duncan, Australia fires in podcast

ROUND BALL ROUNDTABLE: Who is most responsible for the Spurs recent turnaround?

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There’s no question DeMar is a big reason because of his consistent play, but LaMarcus extending his range is also a big part, along with Pop’s decision to play Lonnie Walker IV more.

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I feel DeMar DeRozan is reason number one. He’s the head of the snake for the Spurs. In his last 11 games, he’s been shooting lights out. Dude is carrying the Spurs. Secondly, I think as a whole, the Spurs are playing better team basketball. More consistent for 48 minutes.

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On the surface it looks like DeRozan is the main reason the Spurs seem to be headed in the right direction. We are not the only ones who have noticed that since he was just named the West player of the week.

However, taking nothing from DeMar, it looks like an overall team effort has turned around the season. The team is buying in, plus they are doing a much better job of playing the 3-point shooting game.

Finally, the young guys, Lonnie, Derrick, DeJounte and Bryn Forbes are learning their roles and improving every game, not to mention Jakob Poeltl and his improvement.

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It’s all Lonnie! Just playing. Obviously DeMar has been great, but Aldridge sacrificing and changing his game to help the team has made a big difference in my opinion. I would have never imagined Aldridge turning into a stretch big, but it’s opened everything inside for DDR, Lonnie, Derrick and DJ.

Follow us on Twitter or tweet us your Spurs questions to: Greg at @GregSimmonsKSAT, Larry at @LRam2, David at @DAVIDKSAT or RJ at @KSATRJ

OFF COURT STORY OF WEEK: Patty Mills brings Indigenous Night to A&T Center to celebrate San Antonio’s beginnings, worldwide cultures. (Great stuff again from Patty!) New apparel will also be sold.

San Antonio Spurs guard Patty Mills (8) during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Sacramento Kings, in San Antonio, Friday, Dec. 6, 2019. San Antonio won 105-104 in overtime. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
San Antonio Spurs guard Patty Mills (8) during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Sacramento Kings, in San Antonio, Friday, Dec. 6, 2019. San Antonio won 105-104 in overtime. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) (Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

POWER RANKINGS PULSE:

ESPN.com: 16th in NBA, praised Aldridge’s outside shooting, said DeMar has reaped benefits

SI.com: 17th in NBA, more love for LaMarcus and his adjustment to help team

NBA.com: 15th in NBA, credits DeMar’s play, but says Spurs lost most important game of stretch against Grizzlies

SPURS SCHEDULE LOOK AHEAD:

Jan. 15 : at Miami Heat

Jan. 17: vs Atlanta Hawks

Jan. 19: vs Miami Heat

Jan. 20: at Phoenix Suns

KEY GAME/MATCHUP OF WEEK:

The Spurs surprisingly went 3-1 over the past week, but must now keep pace with Memphis. That will not be easy with two games against Miami. The Heat have been very good. Jimmy Butler is their go-to-guy, but Bam Adebayo has been playing at an All-Star level and will have something to prove after he was waived from Pop’s Team USA roster over the summer.

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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? Manu has got jokes. Earlier this week, Matt Bonner remembered the day when his flannel was “retired” in the Spurs locker room. Manu posted the original tweet in January 2017, and responded to Bonner this week by saying he had "teary eyes remembering it.” MANU. FOREVER.

Matt Bonner tweets about his flannel shirt retirement from January 2017.
Matt Bonner tweets about his flannel shirt retirement from January 2017. (KSAT)

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