Loser: Team Rebounding
The Silver and Black have fallen tremendously short on the glass in the early parts of this season, and the Clippers made that glaringly apparent. Los Angeles outrebounded San Antonio 48-37 on Sunday night, a terrible margin. While the differential could have been more dramatic, their rebounding issues will hurt them against physical teams with bigger bodies.
Boxouts have been hard to come by, and their effort on the boards has been almost nonexistent. Collins and Wembanyama have disappointed in that department, as the seven-footers have failed to use their size and length to their advantage to secure loose balls. Having Sochan at point guard has also taken away his ability to crash the glass, as he has been more perimeter-oriented.
Without solid rebounding, especially on the defensive end, the Spurs will continue to struggle. San Antonio relies on transition opportunities to initiate quick offense, and falling flat on the boards is a back-breaker for their run-and-gun attack.
Winner: The Second Unit
As the entire team struggled against the well-seasoned Clippers, the second unit showed some signs of life that never materialized for the starting five. The offense looked at its best when Jones and the rest of the reserves ran the show, and he created numerous opportunities for sharpshooters like Cedi Osman and Doug McDermott, as both veterans connected on over 50% of their shot attempts.
Charles Bassey was one of the best performers for San Antonio, finishing with six points, five rebounds, one assist, one steal, and one block. The rim runner showed a knack for crashing the boards and was a reliable rim-protecting presence in limited minutes. With the starters struggling, the Spurs will need Bassey and their bench unit to continue their solid play if they want to remain competitive.