While it is never good to count on a sure thing, the San Antonio Spurs (5-3, 5th Western Conference) are hoping to bounce back against the Detroit Pistons (4-4, 6th Eastern Conference) tomorrow night at the AT&T Center where they have dropped three straight games, including last nights 101-99 loss to the Houston Rockets.
Nothing that 48 Minutes of Defense can’t help
“We gave up 63 in the first half and 38 points in the second half,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “That’s what we’ve been doing here at home: play a quarter or two of defense and a quarter or two of no defense. The consistency, in that regard, has not been good.”
The Pistons are having problems of their own and have yet to win a road game this season. This could be just what the doctor ordered.
“(It’s about) just making sure that we’re competing on the defensive end, that we’re in right spots on offense,” Kawhi Leonard said. “This is my sixth year. We’ve had stretches where we played badly before. You always can turn it around.”
The Chicago Bulls came into the AT&T Center needing a win to keep pace with the Detroit Pistons for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. They ended up on the wrong end of 109-101 loss. The Pistons upset the Dallas Mavericks with a 102-96 in Big D moving a half game ahead of the Bulls.
In the Spurs victory, Tim Duncan became only the sixth player in NBA history to collect 15K rebounds, which he did midway through the 1st quarter when he received a standing ovation from the loyal Silver & Black crowd.
“I don’t know what they’re supposed to mean,” Duncan said. “They are what they are. Everybody keeps asking how does it feel. I don’t know what it’s supposed to feel like. I’ve been at it for a long time. I’m honored to be on a list with these guys and when I look back it will mean a whole lot, but right now I’m just trying to play better, trying to get healthy and trying to help the team.”
The Spurs have little time to dwell over individual accomplishments as they prepare for a hungry Oklahoma City Thunder squad taking the AT&T Center court tomorrow. The Thunder are coming off a 120-108 thrashing of the Los Angeles Clippers and face a Minnesota Timberwolves squad that has won only 20 games.
“If you’re ever going to get better, if you’re ever going to win,” Timberwolves interim coach Sam Mitchell said, “you have to remember the times where you got your butt kicked.”
The San Antonio Spurs completed another successful Rodeo Road Trip finishing at 7-1 after handily beating the Houston Rockets 104-94. Now they look to keep their undefeated home record intact as they entertain the Detroit Pistons tonight at the AT&T Center.
“Our guys played well and stayed locked in the whole trip,” said LaMarcus Aldridge, who had 26 points and 16 rebounds against the Rockets. “I think everybody was motivated to finish the trip off right.”
The Spurs also made free agent news signing veteran guard Andre Miller and are still looking hard at Kevin Martin, who was recently released from his contract with Minnesota. In order to make room for Miller, guard Ray McCallum was waived. Head Coach Gregg Popovich joked about the signing of Miller.
“He’s gonna be terrible. That’s why we brought him in. He’s got no chance to fit in whatsoever. I can’t believe we did that,” coach Gregg Popovich quipped before continuing.
“His basketball IQ is off the charts,” he added. “What a pro, tough minded, disciplined and he’ll pick up things very quickly. He’s picked up already a lot. He’ll be fine.