San Antonio Spurs Home Stand Crucial to Playoff Push

Spread the love

The San Antonio Spurs homestand did not start the way they would have liked, losing the first three ball games. Greg Popovich’s team rebounded Saturday with a victory over the Chicago Bulls, and have four games left before hitting the road again. San Antonio has scuffled a bit at home this season, so the remainder of this Spurs homestand is a chance to get back on the right track. This team has surprised a lot of people by fighting its way into playoff contention. If they want to hold onto that spot, they need to improve their home form.

San Antonio Spurs Home Stand Crucial to Playoff Push

The next two games are both against the Sacramento Kings. The Spurs are currently three and a half games ahead of the Kings in the playoff race. However, Sacramento has won seven of their last ten and is climbing the standings. San Antonio has a chance to put some distance between themselves and the Kings if they can take advantage of back-to-back home match-ups. The rest of the teams fighting at the back end of the Western Conference playoff positions are struggling to find consistency. That makes the rest of this Spurs home stand an important opportunity to secure their position.

Balance and Defense

San Antonio basketball has been defined by two things during Popovich’s tenure as head coach. They rely on ball movement and balance on offense while playing disciplined defense on the other end of the floor. The Spurs are tenth in the defensive efficiency rating and eighth in points allowed per game. This team is long and versatile on the wings, which allows them to match-up well against most teams. They also do a great job of playing tough defense without fouling,

On offense, this team is built on unselfish play. Seven different players average in double-figure for San Antonio. They are also a bit of an anomaly in today’s NBA. San Antonio is one of only four teams to attempt less than 30 three-pointers a game. Patty Mills and Rudy Gay provide the offense off the bench. The veteran pair combines for around 24 points a night. While this team lacks the star power found on most NBA rosters, it’s their efficiency and balance that have afforded them success this season.

Under The Radar

When Demar DeRozan was traded to San Antonio a few seasons ago, many thought his relevance in the league would fade. The former All-Star has instead defied his critics and continued to find a way to lead his team to victories. DeRozan is having one of his best all-around campaigns through the first 43 games. He is averaging a career-best seven assists a contest to go along with his eighth consecutive season scoring 20 or more points a game. He is not as explosive a scorer as he was during his prime with the Raptors, but his efficiency is as good as it has ever been.

Roster Shake-Up

DeRozan may need to step up his scoring production over the next few games as San Antonio adjusts to recent roster changes. Lonnie Walker is likely to miss the back end of this Spurs home stand recovering from a wrist injury. LaMarcus Aldridge was waived last week and signed with the Brooklyn Nets. The Spurs are also looking to replace his production. This could lead to increased minutes for Gay and Trey Lyles. San Antonio does not have a lot of size, so those two will see more minutes in the forward spots. Center Jakob Poeltl will also see his role increase. They also signed Gorgui Dieng to help add a presence in the paint.

Spurs Home Stand Needs Strong Finish

San Antonio sits at 23-20 and in seventh in the Western Conference. After their back-to-back with the Kings, they host Atlanta, Indiana, and Cleveland. None of their next five games are against current playoff teams. They have a chance to put together a good run before heading back on the road for seven of their next eight games. Only four games separate them in seventh and the 12th place New Orleans Pelicans. It is crowded at the back end of the playoff picture out west. A strong finish to this Spurs homestand could prove crucial to their chances of holding onto their current position in the standings.

Main Photo
Embed from Getty Images