San Antonio Spurs: Vassell’s starting lineup debut spoiled by ugly loss

Feb 9, 2021; San Antonio, Texas, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (23) drives to the basket past San Antonio Spurs guard Devin Vassell (24) in the third quarter at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 9, 2021; San Antonio, Texas, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (23) drives to the basket past San Antonio Spurs guard Devin Vassell (24) in the third quarter at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports
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For the first few minutes of last night’s game against the Golden State Warriors, it looked like the San Antonio Spurs were going to pick up right where they left off the night before. Their stars were getting to their spots early and knocking down shots, San Antonio even had a first-quarter lead, an increasing rarity for them.

Things stayed stable for the rest of the first half and the Spurs went into the break tied at 50. Then they got the absolute breaks beaten off of them in the second half. If you didn’t watch this one I kind of envy you, honestly.

There are two main things to take away from last night’s game. One, the Spurs are really, really bad in the second night of a back to back. Second, Devin Vassell is going to be really, really good. Personally, I’d rather focus on the second of the two but we can’t completely ignore the first.

Warriors spoil Devin Vassell’s starting lineup debut for San Antonio Spurs

With Derrick White not playing back to backs and Lonnie Walker still getting his legs back after fighting off a brief illness, a starting spot was filled with a question mark in the hours leading up to the game. When it was announced that Devin Vassell would be making his season debut, Spurs Twitter exploded.

By virtue of being the Spurs’ first lottery pick since Tim Duncan, Vassell also has the distinguished honor of being the first rookie lottery pick to start for the Spurs since Duncan did it back in 1997.

His debut wasn’t anything particularly special, just 6 points and 6 rebounds on a night where everyone was off, but the fact that he was even in the starting lineup speaks volumes about how the coaching staff feels about him.

Think about it, a year ago, would you have imagined we are where we are today? I’m not talking about *gestures broadly at everything* all of this, I’m talking specifically about our Spurs.

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We just got to see a starting lineup with all of the young players we were begging to see more of at this time last year plus our highest draft pick in over two decades. This is what we wanted. Sure, the result wasn’t what we hoped it would be, but don’t let that discourage you from the broader point here.

I don’t want to make excuses for how the Spurs played last night but I’m also not going to lose any sleep over it. They haven’t won the second game of a back to back series all season and they’re still sixth in the Western Conference. There’s room for improvement sure, but are you really that upset with how things have gone so far?

Dig into the details of this loss if you want but don’t let it bother you too much. A tired Spurs team came out of the second night of back to back after playing a stellar game the night before and got blown out in the second half. Guys are tired, maybe they were looking ahead to two days of rest, stuff happens, move on.

Next. Spurs: Top five most clutch free throw shooters since 2000

The San Antonio Spurs got whooped by the Golden State Warriors, there’s no getting around that. But these kinds of losses happen in the NBA and shouldn’t be cause for alarm. It’s on to Atlanta on Friday for these Spurs.

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