San Antonio Spurs Week 1 Recap; Week 2 Preview
By Layton Garrett
The San Antonio Spurs shot to an impressive 4-0 start to the season. I said I would be giddy if they won all 4 games, and I am. The 1st game of the year was against the Warriors in California, and the Spurs smoked them in convincing fashion.
For the San Antonio Spurs I thought they would need some time to gel, but instead played cohesively and got a convincing win against the media darlings, the Warriors. Kawhi Leonard, not Kevin Durant, or Stephen Curry was the best player on the court leading the Spurs with 35 points, and five steals.
LaMarcus Aldridge had an impressive 26 points and 14 boards and Simmons had 20 points off the bench and a highlight reel block and dunk. All the Spurs chipped in as is their style, and got the season off to a wonderful start.
Oct 27, 2016; Sacramento, CA, USA; San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard (2) during the game against the Sacramento Kings at Golden 1 Center. The Spurs won the game 102-94. Mandatory Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports
In the second game of the season, the Spurs faced off against the Kings in Sacramento. It was a tough battle, and the Spurs turned to Leonard in the 3rd quarter and he took the game over for a stretch, scoring, and stealing the ball and basically taking over the game.
Leonard also made shots at the end to put the game away for the Spurs. Leonard finished with 30 points, and 5 steals, and the newly acquired front court depth of Dewayne Dedmon and David Lee manifested itself with both players scoring 12 points a piece, and grabbing 12 combined rebounds off the bench.
In game 3 of the season, the Spurs pounded the New Orleans Pelicans in the second half and ran away with the game. Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili got the night off along with Danny Green who will be out these 1st three weeks of the season.
What has become apparent to me, and now to Pop, is that Patty Mills is a superior player to Parker now. No knock on Parker, a Hall of Famer, who will have his jersey hanging in the AT&T rafters as well, and who is one of the greatest Spurs of all time.
Father time caught Tim Duncan last year, and now has Parker firmly in his grasp. Mills in a starting role scored 18 points and played with his usual endless energy, making the Spurs a quicker more fluid team with him manning the point.
Leonard had 20 points, and the rest of the Spurs contributed with a balanced attack, and contributions across the board. The Spurs seem to have infused a nice mixture of youth with veteran know how once again.
Kudos to Popovich and R.C. Buford once again.
The Spurs finished the weekend, or started off the 2nd week with their 1st down to the wire match with the Heat in Miami. Aldridge sat this one out, being the second night of a back to back, and the Spurs were in charge until a poor 3rd quarter and a nice run by the Heat turned it in to a tight game the rest of the way.
Mills for the second-straight night had 18 points, and hit big shots right when the Spurs needed them. Pau Gasol had his best game as a Spur with 20 points and 11 rebounds. Not to sound like a broken record, but everyone better get used to it, Leonard AGAIN took over down the stretch. He scored the Spurs last 12 points and 16 in the final quarter including a sweet fade away to help the Spurs emerge winners for the 4th straight game.
You can isolate him late in the game out top, and he can win the game for you, and make the steal on the other end to win it for you too. He did both of these late in this game, and the Spurs have a new Era in the making.
The Kawhi Leonard Era!
This week, they will face a Jazz team team twice. At home \on Tuesday and at Utah on Friday. That is followed by a second night of a back to back against the Los Angeles Clippers in San Antonio.
Must Read: Leonard guarantees this years teams is better than last seasons
The Spurs are not going to go 82-0, but the way they are playing, I can’t pick against them this week. Maybe they drop a Game in Utah Friday after beating them on Tuesday? Maybe they lose to the Clips on the second night of a back to back?
I’m thinking 3 more wins, and that first loss is put off until a later time.