The San Antonio Spurs lost on the road to the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday night. The result doesn’t come as a surprise, as the Trail Blazers are 11-2 at home and the Spurs were shorthanded. Tim Duncan (rest), Manu Ginobili (back contusion), Tony Parker (left hamstring strain) and Tiago Splitter (right calf rehabilitation) all missed the contest.
The Spurs actually hung in tough throughout the contest, but the Trail Blazers pulled away in the fourth quarter where they went up as much as 13 points.
1. Kawhi Leonard Doesn’t Need Big Three to Succeed
While the San Antonio Spurs are surely at their best with Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan in uniform, one thing has changed this season. Kawhi Leonard isn’t as dependent on them as he once was. His offensive improvement has been the reason. Leonard finished with 21 points and 9 rebounds. Leonard is averaging a career high 15 points and 7.5 rebounds this season. Obviously the Spurs need their big three to win, but it does help that Leonard isn’t as dependent on them as before.
2. Kyle Anderson‘s Best Game
Kyle Anderson’s role has been based off of who is active for the Spurs games. With Parker, Duncan, Ginobili and Splitter out, Anderson will surely get time. Of course it helps that he can play up to three positions. Anderson had his biggest game as a pro, as he finished with 15 points and 5 rebounds off the bench.
3. Ball Movement Missing
While the assists total doesn’t always determine how a team moved the ball, it was evident that the Spurs missed the playmaking that Parker and Ginobili provide. Boris Diaw handled the ball for a good portion of the game and did a good job distributing, as he had 9 assists, but it seemed as if he was alone in that regard. Starting point guard Cory Joseph only had one assist. As a team the Spurs had 19 assists and 15 turnovers, not exactly the ratio you want.
-Spurs shot 49% from field, compared to Trail Blazers 46%
-Key in Game was Trail Blazers shot 89 field goals compared to Spurs 78. (Blazers had 2 more offensive rebounds and committed 4 less turnovers)
-Biggest Lead in Game: Trail Blazers by 13