Spurs' dominant win comes with promising yet frustrating revelation

The San Antonio Spurs win the battle of the worst teams in the NBA in a blowout win over the Detroit Pistons, drawing attention to an emerging trend.
Victor Wembanyama, Jalen Duren, Julian Champagnie
Victor Wembanyama, Jalen Duren, Julian Champagnie / Gregory Shamus/GettyImages

The San Antonio Spurs came away with a 130-108 victory last night after a contest with the Detroit Pistons. It was not quite a battle between two titans; more like, a scrap between a couple of commoners over a loaf of bread. Yet the feelings were reminiscent of the satisfaction experienced by many as the credits rolled after watching The Dark Knight for the first time. It just felt right.

The good came with the mad in the Spurs win for one reason

But to be a fan; to be human is to have complex emotions, and the Spurs have been experts at stirring the instability of sports passion all season. Last night would be no different. Until recently, a common thread throughout the season had been San Antonio's inability to perform any semblance of competent basketball in the third quarter. Three games ago, that changed and there was only one major adjustment made at that time.

It's unlikely to be a simple coincidence that when you place a player who knows how to run an offense efficiently on the floor with the starters, the offense stops struggling. San Antonio has had many games this season that felt like they were lost in the third quarter. They were abysmal coming out of halftime. Insert Tre Jones and voíla, the starters can score points.

Kudos to Coach Popovich for starting Tre Jones but what took so long?

The problem is the time it took to get here. This is just another example of a request made by fans a long time ago. It's easy to fall back on the excuse of experimentation which some supporters were willing to give you, but when your findings resemble what seemed obvious to everyone screaming at you from the beginning, it's not a great look and becomes hard to defend.

The coaching staff no longer has the excuse of tanking either. Granted, the Spurs never came out with an official "we're tanking" statement but that was the explanation some felt comfortable with due to an inability to comprehend the actions of the staff otherwise. The team is on pace for the worst season in history after acquiring a generational talent. That's not supposed to happen so reconciliation was required.

If Coach Pop had stuck to his guns, refusing to put Tre Jones in all season, that rationale could have worked. The decision to start Jones now tells fans you have essentially wasted the first two-plus months of the season with pointless attempts at reinventing the wheel. Not cool man.