Season 50, Game 52
San Antonio 111, Philadelphia 103
40-12, 2nd in the West
There was nothing impressive nor noteworthy about this game. At some point in the middle of the 4th quarter, the Spurs decided it was time to win the game. So they did. The Spurs did just enough to beat the (still) Embiid-less Sixers and secure their first road win of the RRT.
Kawhi propelled the team to victory. The Spurs likely lose without him, just like two nights prior in Memphis. He had two scoring bursts–one in the 2nd quarter, one in the 4th–that gave the Spurs the separation needed to get the win.
The Sixers played withe more urgency and passion to win. They just didn’t quite have the talent to pull it off. Two nights after a historically bad shooting night, the Spurs flipped the ledger and played poor defense (but at least they shot much better). The Sixers must have gotten free for layups at least 4 or 5 times in half court sets. The Spurs turned the ball over 15 times (not a bad number), but the Sixers converted those TOs into 20 points (the Spurs had just 5 points off turnovers). The Spurs were struggling all night to overcome that 15-point margin in a game they should have easily won.
The team is not playing great basketball right now. It’s enough to beat the Sixers, and it might be enough to beat a few more teams on the East coast swing of this road trip. But if we’re looking at process over results, we should worry a bit about this midseason lull. Some of the sharpness and execution is lacking right now.
It could just be the middle-of-the-season pre-All-Star-break malaise that most top teams go through. Hopefully we’ll see the team ‘wake up’ in the spring. I don’t know how many more of these ‘bare minimum’ games I can take.
The RRT continues Friday night against Detroit, a place the Spurs don’t always play their best.
Go Spurs Go.