Remember when the San Antonio Spurs’ foundation was defense?
Back in the day, Tim Duncan, David Robinson and Bruce Bowen all took their turns disrupting NBA offenses.
More recently, Kawhi Leonard was a two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year and Danny Green provided lockdown defense from the wing.
Those days look long gone. Portland blistered San Antonio for 53.6 percent from the field and 46.9 percent from 3-point territory in the Trail Blazers’ convincing 121-108 victory over San Antonio Saturday night. Opponents scored that many points against the Spurs only six times last season and only five times in regulation.
In the meantime, Leonard appears to be showing few effects from the knee injury that kept him out of all but nine games last season. And Green was similarly defensively engaged with Leonard in the Raptors’ Friday night victory over Boston, as this tweet shows.
Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard ANNIHILATING Jayson Tatum’s layup attempt 🙅♂️🙅♂️🙅♂️ pic.twitter.com/9jwjt8bOyS
— The Sports Quotient (@SportsQuotient) October 20, 2018
And it won’t get any easier for the Spurs on Monday. San Antonio travels to Los Angeles, which might be missing starters Rajon Rondo and Brandon Ingram because of suspension from the rumble with Houston Saturday night.
The Lakers are one of five NBA teams without a win so far this season. LeBron James didn’t come West to be part of a losing team. “The King” is probably licking his lips as he watches game film of the Spurs in preparation for tonight’s game at the Staples Center.
The Spurs will be battling some tough recent history on the road as they attempt to snap an 11-game losing streak on the road, including the playoffs. The Spurs’ most recent road win came on Feb. 25 at Cleveland.