The San Antonio Spurs dropped to 8-7 on the season after getting shellacked by the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday night 121-99. The Spurs came out flat and remained flat for much of the contest. The Warriors, who improved to 8-6 with the win, didn’t even need to break a sweat in the second half as they casually sauntered to victory.
After a dismal first quarter, the Spurs got within five points with five and a half minutes remaining in the first half. But, unfortunately, the Warriors responded with a 16-0 run in the next three minutes to, in retrospect, put the game away.
The Spurs were 4-for-33 from three-point range. That’s … not going to get it done in today’s NBA. Tre Jones hit an unguarded three at the buzzer, so in reality the Spurs were 3-for-32 (9.4%) from deep when the Warriors were actually trying.
Spurs at Warriors: Final Grades
Murray was 9-for-16 (56.3%) from the field and the rest of the starting lineup was 8-for-34 (23.5%), thus it’s difficult to be too upset with San Antonio’s starting point guard. He was also alert on defense and was one of the few players who could be counted on to hustle. Things weren’t all good, though. Murray’s playmaking was missing in action, he wasn’t picking his spots well and had front row seats for a ton of Warriors baskets.
Oof. Hopefully this goes down as a learning experience for Johnson. In the first half, he was terrible. He airballed a couple three-pointers and then lost all confidence in his shot. He started shying away from the three-point line, which killed the offensive flow. His decision-making was poor on offense; he didn’t know what to do after airballing those threes. Defensively, he was getting cooked repeatedly. He produced a bit in garbage time but Johnson was really, really not good when the game was actually a game.
I didn’t like much of anything DeRozan did tonight. When he wasn’t whining to the refs, he was looking off wide open teammates or obnoxiously begging for the ball. His defense was also really bad. The only silver lining is he played decently hard and attacked enough to get to the line.
Lonnie Walker IV
Walker was too passive on offense. The couple times he drove the ball, his shots in the paint were weak. Like Johnson, he spent a lot of the game looking timid. Defensively, he avoided contact and was a step slow in rotations.
Aldridge never established himself on the inside or the outside. Even when he had mismatches, he rarely even tried to take advantage. Add in listless defense and a lack of effort on the boards and it’s difficult to say anything positive about how he spent his 23 minutes of playing time.
Defensively, Vassell was once again really good. In fact, the rookie’s defense might have been the most exciting part of the game for Spurs fans. Both individually and team-wise, he excelled. Offensively, though, he needs to start finding his footing. A diet consisting of contested three-pointers and awkward two-pointers won’t take him very far in the NBA.
Can’t really blame much of the team’s poor play on Poeltl. Sure, he was extra soft in the paint (particularly finishing-wise and on the defensive glass) but he was running hard and staying active. In the few moments that the Spurs appeared to be a capable defensive basketball team, Poeltl was usually in the middle of it.
Mills missed all seven of his three-pointers and had a few embarrassingly bad moments on defense. He played hard, though. A few times, he was able to make something out of nothing when a few of his teammates were scared of their own shadows.
Gay wasn’t awesome or anything but he was the most productive player on this night. He was one of the few Spurs who looked to attack mismatches. He was also physical in the paint and his decision-making on both ends was fine.
Lyles broke out the Euro step a couple times. He played passable defense. Unfortunately, all his jumpers were flat and he was one of the many Spurs who struggled with being too passive.
Obviously, there’s not much a coach can do when his team shoots as poorly as the Spurs shot tonight. However, Pop wasn’t helping matters. He let DeRozan pick up three fouls in the first quarter and DeRozan wasn’t the same after that. The Spurs never appeared to have a plan on offense — and Pop doesn’t escape blame for that. Defensively, the coaching staff tried to junk things up but nothing worked. In fact, the gimmicks only made the defense worse.
Big picture, the Spurs split a two-game road trip against two Western Conference playoff contenders. Not a bad road trip. San Antonio plays the Dallas Mavericks on Friday. Let’s hope they rebound after tonight’s forgettable outing.