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The Spurs dramatically snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
I’m still having a hard time believing the Spurs lost Saturday night’s game.
I mean…they were up by 21…in the 2nd half…at home…against the Bulls…how? Regardless of the progress shown by this group in recent games, this is a ridiculous result. If you’re up 21 at home against anyone in the league outside of the Warriors then you have to be able to finish the job. It’s not that complicated.
What a weird loss. The Dr. Jekyll first half was some of the most beautiful basketball this team has played all season. LaMarcus was firing on all cylinders, the ball movement was resulting in great looks, and Marco Belinelli almost literally couldn’t do anything wrong. The Bulls are not a juggernaut on offense or anything, but they were still held in check by a disciplined and aggressive performance by the Spurs defense. Everything was easy. This was the type of game that the old Spurs used to play all the time. In control from wire to wire and never really breaking a sweat.
The Mr. Hyde 2nd half was a slow motion nightmare. It wasn’t really a case of the team dramatically careening off a cliff, but more of an inevitable descent into madness. The Bulls didn’t change their strategy or anything, the Spurs just couldn’t seem to replicate anything about their first half success. As the shots stopped bouncing their way on offense, all of a sudden the beautiful ball-movement fell by the wayside. Possessions stagnated and everyone on the court seemed like they couldn’t be bothered. Why should they be? After all, they had a double digit lead on one of the worst teams in the league! What could happen?
Little by little, the Bulls chipped away at that lead. The defense wasn’t bad, per se, but it felt unfocused. It was as if they couldn’t be bothered to worry about giving up a quick two points here and there because they just wanted to hurry up and get back to the other end of the floor and try to kick start the offense. Before you knew it, the Bulls had the deficit under 5 and it was very much a game.
By the time the the 3rd quarter ended, the Spurs were locked in a battle that they were unprepared to fight. I don’t think ‘sense of urgency’ is something that you can get back once you’ve decided to put it away for the night. Everything down the stretch was forced and strained and, frankly, they were lucky to even be in a position to tie the game back up on the final possession.
No two ways about it, this was a bad loss. It doesn’t erase the good that came before it, but it does serve as a wake up call. This team has a long way to go and is still frustratingly capable of showcasing the best and worst versions of themselves.
Sometimes they even do it on the same night.
— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) December 16, 2018
Source: Pounding The Rock