The San Antonio Spurs can’t seem to get out of their rut, losing 97-90 to the New Orleans Pelicans, their sixth in the last seven games, finding it very difficult to contain Anthony Davis and Ryan Anderson.
Davis finished with 22 points, 12 rebounds and 5 blocks as he continues to be the league’s most effective stat-compiling machine. The Spurs tried a lot of different combinations on him but Davis, despite not having a very efficient day, managed to mostly dominate against Tim Duncan and anything else the Spurs threw at him. Ryan Anderson scored 22 points off the bench, as the Pelicans took advantage of the Spurs turning the ball over 17 times compared to the Hornets’ eight.
Tony Parker didn’t play (Cory Joseph starting again). Kawhi Leonard is still out. The Spurs are missing key players and although there’s no team in the league except for the Chicago Bulls that can handle injuries and absences better, it’s clearly taking a toll on them, at least during this stage of the season, and maybe forcing Duncan to play more minutes than Popovich would have liked him to play. It will call for other juggling between resting and starting later on.
At 18-13, San Antonio are still among the top 8 in the West, so we’re not in crisis mode, but there’s certainly some adjusting (and maybe some yelling from Popovich) to do. The finish for this calendar year isn’t going to be easy, which includes playing the Rockets, Grizzlies and Pelicans. Popovich won’t bring back Parker too early a second time, so it’s not going to be too much of a surprise if they begin 2015 with a very long string of losses behind them.