The venue changed but the outcome more or less stayed the same.
The Spurs returned home from an 0-5 West Coast road trip to face another conference opponent in the up-and-coming New Orleans Pelicans, bringing their defensive woes with them. A 6th straight loss drops them to 6-13.
San Antonio has been the worst team in the league in the month of November, much of which starts with a penchant for turning the ball over (they had 18 on Wednesday), poor 1st quarters, and an inability to get stops in the half court. The song remained the same for much of this one, which is par for the course on a season focused on long-term development rather than quick fixes.
- First, a positive: Doug McDermott came out hot, hitting his first 5 shots and was outscoring his teammates 11 to 8 well into the 2nd quarter. Bit of an indictment of everyone else, but good for Doug. He had 21 points off the bench on 9-of-12 shooting.
- The rest of the Spurs started out a bit worse. The first non-Doug to hit a 3 was Devin Vassell with under 5 minutes left in the 2nd quarter. That ended a stretch of 9 three-point misses by non-Dougs.
- Zion Williamson was dominant, bullying his way to the rim against whatever body San Antonio threw his way, including Jeremy Sochan. He finished with 32 and 11.
- Keldon Johnson had his worst game of the season, finishing with 5 points on 2 of 9 shooting. Pop pulled him early in the 3rd quarter and he saw only 16 minutes of floor time. He’s now averaged just over 9 points through his last 3 games.
- As opponents have often in the first quarter of the season, the Pelicans had no trouble finding an open shooter and making the Spurs pay for poor rotations. Devote’ Graham especially feasted, hitting 5 threes in the 1st half.
- Devin Vassell gets the game ball for San Antonio behind a 26-point, 8-assist night, the latter being a career high. He had his best period in the 2nd with 12 points, showing off his 3-point stroke and growing ability to score off the dribble, but looked comfortable throughout getting to his spots and shooting quickly off the catch.
For the Pelicans fans’ perspective, please visit The Bird Writes.
Next up, the San Antonio Spurs continue their homestand with the first of two games against the Los Angeles Lakers.