San Antonio Spurs News

San Antonio Spurs vs. Indiana Pacers Takeaways

By Albert Pérez Oyola
SAN ANTONIO, TX - OCTOBER 24: Patty Mills #8 of the San Antonio Spurs, assistant coaches Becky Hammon, Ime Udoka, and head coach Gregg Popovich watch action against the Indiana Pacers from the bench during an NBA game on October 24, 2018 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. The Indiana Pacers won 116-96. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Edward A. Ornelas/Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO, TX - OCTOBER 24: Patty Mills #8 of the San Antonio Spurs, assistant coaches Becky Hammon, Ime Udoka, and head coach Gregg Popovich watch action against the Indiana Pacers from the bench during an NBA game on October 24, 2018 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. The Indiana Pacers won 116-96. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Edward A. Ornelas/Getty Images)
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The San Antonio Spurs lost to the Indiana Pacers 116-96 for the first home loss of the season. The Spurs continued to struggle on defense, and the bench seemed helpless against the Pacers.

100. . 96. 29. 116

It did not look great for the Spurs from the opening tip as the Indiana Pacers showcased a level of athleticism that the Silver and Black did not appear prepared for.

It came down to defense. As of right now the team is last in the NBA in defensive rating (122.7) and not showing any signs of improving on that end of the court.

Quick @TheAthleticNBA Popovich reaction… loss to #Pacers was all about defense… and #Spurs have work to do… said SA is “defensively challenged” right now… pic.twitter.com/Z3rZi5OfVr

— Jabari Young (@JabariJYoung) October 25, 2018

The Pacers scored in whichever way they pleased, but were mainly rewarded for their aggressiveness throughout the game. Victor Oladipo scored 21 points, recorded 9 assists, and ran circles around the Spurs defense getting to the basket, popping up for open shots, or simply slinging the rock to an open teammate for easy buckets.

The effort seemed nonexistent. Although Coach Popovich mentioned the Spurs had “a willing group” as far as getting better defensively, there were too many instances in which the proper effort to close out on a shooter or get through a screen didn’t materialize.

The Spurs’ bench clearly struggled during the game and were not a good matchup against the Pacers’ second unit. Former Spur Cory Joseph, Domantas Sabonis, and Tyreke Evans provided tremendous production from the Pacers’ bench. They were all +30, +29, and +32 respectively, and the Spurs didn’t have an answer for them.

Final stats from tonight ?@DeMar_DeRozan: 18 PTS | 4 AST | 3 REB@marcobelinelli: 16 PTS | 2 REB | 1 STL@BrynjForbes: 15 PTS | 4 AST | 2 REB@aldridge_12: 15 PTS | 13 REB | 2 AST@RudyGay: 11 PTS | 10 REB | 2 AST

— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) October 25, 2018

As for the Spurs, Patty Mills had a plus/minus of -30, Pau Gasol -24, Marco Belinelli -15, and Davis Bertans -14.

The Pacers mixed things up by playing Oladipo extended minutes with the bench, and that proved problematic for the Spurs as their athleticism became too much for them to handle.

The Spurs may have to look into calling up Forward Josh Huestis from the G League to supplement some of the defensive deficiencies, especially those stemming from the second unit.

Looks like everyone’s legs are a little heavy after that overtime win in LA

— Air Alamo (@AirAlamo) October 25, 2018

It’s possible that the overtime win against the Lakers could have affected some of the Spurs’ players, and their energy simply wasn’t there.

DeMar DeRozan remained effective scoring the ball dropping 18 points along with 4 assists and 3 rebounds on 8-of-18 shooting. It has become plainly clear that the team heavily relies on him for offensive production, and the immediate effects are seen once he goes to the bench.

More @TheAthleticNBA ? reaction … DeMar on #Spurs defensive issues.. and how having next 2 days off before rematch with #Lakers will help. SA will have film session tomorrow pic.twitter.com/Raaz4xhEfE

— Jabari Young (@JabariJYoung) October 25, 2018

More from Air Alamo

LaMarcus Aldridge had trouble with his shot but remained productive scoring 15 points and collecting 13 rebounds on a poor 5-of-18 shooting. We’ll not see many nights like these from Aldridge where the shots are not falling, but we must be pleased with his effort to stay aggressive throughout the night and fill out the rest of the stat sheet.

Bryn Forbes provided solid offensive production once again scoring 15 points and dishing out 4 assists. His defense remains a concern, but he’s not the only one struggling on that end of the floor. He’s definitely been better than advertised and should only continue improving.

The bench is a true concern on defense. Their offense is not a problem as the entire unit can put the ball in the basket; Belinelli, Bertans, Gasol, and Mills are solid shooters and provide great ball movement. However, that squad will continue to have issues stopping others from scoring.

There will be times where they can outshoot the other team’s bench, given lower competition, but against decent and athletic teams we can expect a repeat of what transpired during this game.

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Next. Spurs Team Defense will come with chemistry

The Spurs now take a couple of days off before they face the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday, Oct. 27 at 7:30pm at the AT&T Center.

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