The San Antonio Spurs have been strolling through the competition for some time now, but they ran into a little scare against the Denver Nuggets. Did the close call show a weakness that may lead to a loss in the near future?
In Wednesday’s game against the Nuggets, the Spurs led by as many as 24 points before that cushion almost vanished in the blink of an eye. Denver was able to close within four points with three minutes to go in the fourth quarter. The Spurs were fortunate enough to have Tony Parker and Tim Duncan make some clutch baskets to seal their 15th consecutive victory but some defensive flaws were unveiled.
San Antonio had no answer for the Nuggets’ Kenneth Faried down the stretch. Faried scored 15 of the team’s 36 fourth quarter points. He went 4-of-6 shooting from the field and knocked down 7-of-8 free throws to lead the comeback for Denver. His motor and energy was a significant problem that the Spurs could not seem to match.
Another issue that the Nuggets exposed was the lack of selfishness on behalf the Spurs’ offense. Yes, San Antonio needs to be more selfish at times and look for their own shot instead of sharing the rock. It was obvious that over-passing almost did the Spurs in and led to unforced turnovers. The Spurs finished the game with 21 turnovers, which is not a number they want to have that column consistently.
The lack of protection in the paint was an issue that the Spurs’ big men will have to address before their rematch with the Nuggets in Denver on Friday. And cleaning up the offense will be a work in progress as well, but the winning streak is not the ultimate prize. As long as the best basketball is being played during the playoffs, the winning streak is just for show.