San Antonio Spurs News

San Antonio Spurs: 3 Reasons for recent struggles

SAN ANTONIO,TX - SEPTEMBER 30 : DeMar DeRozan #10 and LaMarcus Aldridge #12 of the San Antonio Spurs talk in a preseason game against the Miami Heat at AT&T Center on September 30 , 2018 in San Antonio, Texas. 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 Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO,TX - SEPTEMBER 30 : DeMar DeRozan #10 and LaMarcus Aldridge #12 of the San Antonio Spurs talk in a preseason game against the Miami Heat at AT&T Center on September 30 , 2018 in San Antonio, Texas. 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 Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)
facebooktwitterreddit
LOS ANGELES, CA – NOVEMBER 15: San Antonio Spurs Forward DeMar DeRozan (10) drives to the basket against Los Angeles Clippers Forward Tobias Harris (34) during a NBA game between the San Antonio Spurs and the Los Angeles Clippers on November 15, 2018 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA – NOVEMBER 15: San Antonio Spurs Forward DeMar DeRozan (10) drives to the basket against Los Angeles Clippers Forward Tobias Harris (34) during a NBA game between the San Antonio Spurs and the Los Angeles Clippers on November 15, 2018 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The San Antonio Spurs have hit a skid after a hot start to the year. Why have they been performing so poorly in recent weeks?

Despite a rough preseason full of injuries to key players and promising youngsters, the San Antonio Spurs were able to weather the storm and win six of their first eight games to begin the year.

However, they have now lost five of their last six games and have fallen to ninth place in the Western Conference.

It’s been frustrating to watch the Spurs recently on both ends of the floor after we were mesmerized by DeMar DeRozan’s dominance over the first eight games.

There is plenty of blame to go around for San Antonio’s recent rough patch.

Here are the top three reasons why they’ve fallen on hard times:

Next: Injuries

SAN ANTONIO, TX – OCTOBER 7: Dejounte Murray #5 of the San Antonio Spurs walks off the court after being injured on a play as teammate Pau Gasol #16 looks on during a preseason game against the Houston Rockets on October 7, 2018 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. (Photo by Edward A. Ornelas/Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO, TX – OCTOBER 7: Dejounte Murray #5 of the San Antonio Spurs walks off the court after being injured on a play as teammate Pau Gasol #16 looks on during a preseason game against the Houston Rockets on October 7, 2018 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. (Photo by Edward A. Ornelas/Getty Images)

Injuries

The Spurs’ players and coaches will not make any excuses for their performance of late, but it’s hard to ignore that injuries have played a large part in their early season struggles.

Dejounte Murray’s torn ACL delivered a huge blow to this defense as he was by far the best defensive point guard in the league last season.

San Antonio was also forced to start the year without Derrick White and Lonnie Walker, who were both candidates for breakout seasons.

While White has recently returned, he is struggling to get into a rhythm, and Lonnie Walker is still currently sidelined with his meniscus injury.

Related Story. Evaluating the Kawhi Leonard trade

Along with those preseason injuries, Rudy Gay and Pau Gasol have both missed significant time.

Gay has been a huge loss as he’s really the only reliable wing player on the Spurs’ roster, and Pau was playing well before he started dealing with foot soreness.

Hopefully this injury situation gets better as the season moves along because it’s been the main reason why San Antonio is hovering around .500 right now.

Next: LaMarcus Aldridge's shooting slump

PHOENIX, AZ – NOVEMBER 14: DeMar DeRozan #10 and LaMarcus Aldridge #12 of the San Antonio Spurs react on the bench during the second half of the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena on November 14, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ – NOVEMBER 14: DeMar DeRozan #10 and LaMarcus Aldridge #12 of the San Antonio Spurs react on the bench during the second half of the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena on November 14, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

LaMarcus Aldridge’s shooting slump

While LaMarcus Aldridge is dominating the boards with 11 rebounds per game and playing very solid defense with 1.2 blocks per night, he is in the midst of one of the worst shooting slumps of his career.

He currently has a true shooting percentage of just 46.7%, which would easily be a career-low for the six-time All-Star who has never finished a season below 50% in that category.

Related Story. How LaMarcus Aldridge’s efficiency equates to wins

Aldridge mentioned that he would like to improve his three-point shooting this year, but that has clearly not happened as LaMarcus is 0-for-6 from deep this season.

DeMar DeRozan has been everything Spurs fans could’ve hoped for in his first season in San Antonio, but he needs some help from the other All-NBA player on this roster.

I don’t expect Aldridge to shoot this poorly all year long, but it’s extremely possible that the 33-year-old’s best days are behind him.

Next: Inability to win on the road

LOS ANGELES, CA – NOVEMBER 15: Bryn Forbes #11 of the San Antonio Spurs reacts to losing to the Los Angeles Clippers 116-111 in a game at Staples Center on November 15, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA – NOVEMBER 15: Bryn Forbes #11 of the San Antonio Spurs reacts to losing to the Los Angeles Clippers 116-111 in a game at Staples Center on November 15, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

Inability to win on the road

More from Air Alamo

The Spurs have always dominated at home during the Gregg Popovich era, but they’ve also been one of the league’s best road teams during the past couple of decades.

Going back to the 2002-03 season, San Antonio has finished the year with a winning record on the road for 15 straight seasons!

That streak was snapped last year when they went 14-27 on the road, and they’ve struggled away from the AT&T Center again this season with a road record of 2-5 so far, including four straight losses.

The Spurs have been forced to play more young and unproven players over the past couple of seasons, and those guys typically perform much better at home.

Want your voice heard? Join the Air Alamo team!

Write for us!

Next. Spurs: Three players that need to step up

This team needs to become more mentally tough and start picking up some road wins if they want to be a contender this year.

facebooktwitterreddit