Murphy’s law states, “anything that can go wrong will go wrong.” Well Murphy must have been watching the San Antonio Spurs as they got throttled by the Detroit Pistons in a 109-100 loss. The defeat comes as the second on their current nine-game road trip.
Gregg Popovich has put together more than 15 different starting lineups this season while struggling with injured players. With the inconsistency in lineups for the Spurs, the lack of chemistry was all too apparent Monday night. “19” was the magic number of turnovers committed by San Antonio which allowed the struggling Pistons to gain some confidence and run away with the game. The third quarter was an awful collaboration of bad timing and worse decision-making. As the Spurs handed the ball over eight times, the Pistons outscored them, 33-24 in the third.
Once again, the Spurs were without Manu Ginobili, Kawhi Leonard and Tiago Splitter. Their contributions would have had an extreme impact on the way this game was played. All three players are tough, gritty and hard-nosed competitors who can really get after it on the defensive end. But without them, the Spurs let all five Detroit starters score in double-figures.
The shorthanded circumstances have taken an obvious toll on Tony Parker and Tim Duncan as they both looked sluggish and a step slower than usual. Parker and Duncan finished with 11 points each and were the only Spurs starters to break double-figure marks. Marco Belinelli was the bright spot for Spurs nation, finishing with 20 points on 4-of-8 shooting from beyond the arc.
The Spurs must shake off the letdown in Detroit and prepare for the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night. At this point, they have no choice but to play the hand they’ve been dealt even if a few cards are missing. Ginobili has been traveling with the team to get rehab and court work done, but there are no signs of him suiting up anytime soon which could spell trouble if the Spurs continue with their current trend.