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Spurs newsletter: Mile High meltdown; Pop says players need to ‘man up’; Should team tank for NBA Lottery?

(Spurs newsletter Gregg Popovich image)
(Spurs newsletter Gregg Popovich image) (KSAT)

SAN ANTONIO – The Spurs are reeling and it’s depressing to say, but San Antonio’s season may effectively be over before the Stock Show and Rodeo. Sigh. Welcome to this week’s KSAT.com Spurs newsletter.

It’s one thing to bottom out and rebuild, but the Spurs are losing in some rather excruciating ways. How many more big leads can this team give up?

The latest was a collapse and meltdown in the Mile High City on Monday night. San Antonio led Denver by 23 points! in the third quarter and were outscored 64-34 the rest of the way. The loss dropped them to 22-31 overall and 0-5 on the Rodeo Road Trip.

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They are five games back of the eighth spot in the Western Conference and are inching closer to taking part in the NBA Lottery for the first time in more than two decades.

They have beaten some good teams, lost to some bad teams and blown numerous leads in between. This is your Spurs 2019-20 season!

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 was not happy about the team’s meltdown against the Kings: “Unacceptable. Guys have to man up.” FULL STORY HERE.

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - DECEMBER 14: Gregg Popovich looks on during a game between the Spurs and Suns at Arena Ciudad de Mexico on December 14, 2019 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images)
MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - DECEMBER 14: Gregg Popovich looks on during a game between the Spurs and Suns at Arena Ciudad de Mexico on December 14, 2019 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images) (2019 Getty Images)

DeRozan defends ejection, felt officials were inconsistent in loss

Hield, Kings heat up to keep Spurs reeling

Spurs make no moves at trade deadline, inform DeRozan he will not be traded

ROUND BALL ROUNDTABLE: Should the Spurs tank the rest of the season to try to get better lottery odds?

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No, they should NOT since they are the only major league team in town and owe it to LaMarcus Aldridge not to waste a season at his age. Besides, it’s not the “Spurs Way."

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No. I’ve always disliked this question and thought process. True competitors DO NOT tank. You fight until the very end. Next question.

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No, I don’t think the Spurs would ever consider that approach. That’s just not in coach Pop’s DNA. However, you might start seeing some different combinations on the floor, and more time for Dejounte, Derrick White, Bryn Forbes and Lonnie Walker.

They can continue to grow and play through the pain of a losing season. There could also be an opportunity to get some more time for the Austin players. As far as bowing down and looking for a higher lottery pick, I don’t think that will ever happen. You can tell a lot about a player and a team by the way they perform in times like these.

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I understand the fans frustration, but I don’t see it happening. The organization has too much pride for that. I would like to see the youth of the team use this as an opportunity to learn and grow. The young guys like DJ, Derrick and Lonnie are the future. Those are the players, including Keldon and Luka in Austin, that have to make an impact moving forward.

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

PLAYER SOUND OF THE WEEK: DeMar DeRozan defends ejection, felt officials were inconsistent in loss to Kings. FULL STORY HERE.

DeMar DeRozan expresses his opinion to referee Mark Ayotte after he was called for a foul then received two technical fouls and was ejected from the team's NBA basketball game against the Sacramento Kings in Sacramento, Calif., Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
DeMar DeRozan expresses his opinion to referee Mark Ayotte after he was called for a foul then received two technical fouls and was ejected from the team's NBA basketball game against the Sacramento Kings in Sacramento, Calif., Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

OFF COURT STORY OF WEEK: Texas Cavaliers announce Tony Parker as grand marshal of 2020 river parade. FULL STORY/DETAILS HERE.

Former San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker speaks during his retirement ceremony after the team's NBA basketball game against the Memphis Grizzlies in San Antonio, Monday, Nov. 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Former San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker speaks during his retirement ceremony after the team's NBA basketball game against the Memphis Grizzlies in San Antonio, Monday, Nov. 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) (Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

POWER RANKINGS PULSE:

ESPN.com: 18th in NBA...Spurs get no love after embarrassing loss to Kings. The rankings came out before the Denver meltdown. Yikes.

SI.com: 16th in NBA...says Spurs should be surprised if they get 8th playoff spot

NBA.com: 19th in NBA...some good numbers here on the Spurs defensive breakdowns late in games

SPURS SCHEDULE LOOK AHEAD (Editor’s note: Do we have to?!)

Feb. 11: at Oklahoma City

Feb. 14-16: NBA All-Star Weekend in Chicago

Feb. 21: at Utah

Feb. 23: at Oklahoma City

KEY GAME/MATCHUP OF WEEK:

Well, any win at this point would be monumental. I guess if the Spurs are going to work their way up the standings, it begins with the teams ahead of them. They have beaten Oklahoma City this season, but the Thunder have proven to be a tough matchup. Chris Paul always plays well against San Antonio.

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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? Well, he’s not saving the lives of grandmothers this week, but after this horrible loss to Denver, I thought it would be fun to go down Manu memory lane to the time he made a game-winning shot against the Nuggets in 2010, and then took a charge to seal the game. MANU. FOREVER.

Image of Manu Ginobili against the Denver Nuggets on Dec. 17, 2010.
Image of Manu Ginobili against the Denver Nuggets on Dec. 17, 2010. (KSAT)

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