After a surprising start to the season, the San Antonio Spurs have been piling up season-low moments in recent weeks. From back-to-back blowout losses to Memphis to a demoralizing loss against the Cavaliers, these are frustrating times for Spurs fans.
Although they’ve had flashes of brilliance like their wins in Dallas and Phoenix this month, I still have one sour memory of a game that happened on April 3rd.
For those who may need a reminder, the Spurs hosted the Indiana Pacers that day and were coming off a double-overtime loss to the Atlanta Hawks. In the game, they blew an 11-point lead but fought back to force overtime. Then, this happened.
T.J. McConnell!!! Coming up clutch!!!
— Bally Sports Indiana (@BallySportsIN) April 4, 2021
That’s right. After scoring on a clutch pull-up over Rudy Gay, T.J. McConnell proceeded to yell, “That’s what I f—ing do,” while going back to the Pacers’ bench after a Spurs timeout. All credit to McConnell. I mean, it was a good shot at a crucial time. He also shot 9-of-14 in that game to finish with 18 points.
Granted, many of McConnell’s buckets were scored over the 6-1 Patty Mills, but credit T.J. for doing his job. That said, I’d love for the Spurs to show some pride and tenacity in their rematch against Indiana. There’s absolutely no reason a guy like T.J. McConnell, who’s only sixth on his team in clutch points scored this season, should be given the opportunity to talk trash.
The Spurs are loaded with wings and guards that are talented defensively, including Dejounte Murray, Derrick White, Lonnie Walker, Devin Vassell, and Keldon Johnson. The trash-talk was irritating, but I can’t blame McConnell for it after the game he had at the AT&T Center.
The San Antonio Spurs need to show some nasty
In Game 1 of the 2012 Western Conference Finals, Coach Popovich made his famous “I want some nasty!” speech that went viral. Although Monday is just another game in the Spurs’ fight to sneak into the playoffs, I’d love to see them return to that level of aggressiveness.
The team may have forgotten about the extra motivation for revenge McConnell loaded them with, but I haven’t. The Spurs allowed Caris LeVert to explode for 26 points and the Pacers to shoot 55 percent as a team. That will happen from time to time, but McConnell mugging is just about where I draw the line.
San Antonio is coming off their best win of the season, which oddly came when they rested DeMar DeRozan, Patty Mills, and Jakob Poeltl. They played consistently for all four quarters and showed what the team is capable of even without their most clutch player.
When the ball is tipped Monday night at 8 PM ET, I’d like to see the Spurs’ guards take the grudge match personally — even if it’s just for me.