It looks like the San Antonio Spurs struggling without Lonnie Walker wasn’t a coincidence. In the nine games he was out with a wrist injury, San Antonio lost seven and fell back to below .500 despite eight of those games being at the AT&T Center.
Just going by the eye test and following the Spurs all season long, I was skeptical that the loss of Walker could be that impactful to the teams’ recent woes. I mean, they went from a 22-16 team to one that was repeatedly getting blown out in front of their fans to subpar opponents.
In some ways, that’s still true. This team can’t be excused for repeatedly missing rotations on 3-point shooters while going ice cold from the outside themselves throughout the homestand. They also can’t pin it on losing Walker that they often looked disinterested and put their heads down too quickly in some of those bigger losses.
However, in watching the same squad that got blown out by Cleveland hanging with some of the best teams in the Western Conference recently, I can’t help but think maybe I was underrating Lonnie’s impact on this team.
While he’s not this team’s closer or go-to scorer, Walker’s role seems to be expanding as rapidly as his game is, and that’s giving the Spurs the ability to play like the team that surprised us all in the first few months of the season. So, in what ways are the Silver and Black getting back into rhythm with their sniper back in the lineup?
Next: The Lonnie Effect, No. 1