The San Antonio Spurs appeared to be destined for the bottom of the NBA standings, especially after shipping away All-Star guard Dejounte Murray to the Atlanta Hawks for a package centered on a boatload of future first-round picks. The Spurs’ season debut could have been one that foreshadowed the rest of their season after they were blown out by the Charlotte Hornets at home, 129-102.
But a Gregg Popovich-coached team doesn’t know when to quit.
After an impressive win over the contending Philadelphia 76ers on the road, the Spurs have slayed yet another purported contender, the Minnesota Timberwolves, who were on the second night of a back-to-back.
The Spurs ended up winning the game, 115-106, after a blistering 36-14 third quarter onslaught that pushed their lead to as many as 35 points. And fans on Twitter simply can’t help but be in awe of the Spurs’ admirable performances thus far in the new season.
"Spurs will be the worst team in the league since they lost DJ and got rid of their best players and are in rebuild mode" "tank season"
… Spurs up by 35 #gospursgo #porvida pic.twitter.com/lxVg1n8z1J
— Mr. Nobody (@Jayeatzombie) October 25, 2022
Just looked at the Spurs v. Wolves score… whats going on?
— KENNY BEECHAM (@KOT4Q) October 25, 2022
The Spurs’ trio of Keldon Johnson, Jakob Poeltl, and Devin Vassell appears to have stepped up in bigger offensive roles, and other young role players such as Tre Jones, Josh Primo, and Jeremy Sochan have also pitched in invaluable contributions in blowing the game wide open.
The way Coach Popovich has this young Spurs team playing >>> they really don’t care who’s on the opposite side of the court, those young boys are ballinnnnn
— Hookah Dončić (@__SLEEZUS) October 25, 2022
Devin Vassell > Anthony “Scores Table” Edwards https://t.co/PFxcdc5Jrr
— 🔳 (@_Kvn24) October 25, 2022
Spurs fans, who have been spoiled since the late 1990s, know that their pathway back to contention might be through tanking for Victor Wembanyama, and some fans facetiously voiced their displeasure for the team’s propensity to win games so far.
Spurs basketball, Pop please let’s tank for Wembanyama 🤦🏾♂️🤦🏾♂️
— LeMYERS🌚 (@myers_dapper) October 25, 2022
The Spurs do not get the tank for Wembanyama memo 😳 pic.twitter.com/wlo0r1FUq2
— Kicks (@kicks) October 25, 2022
On the other hand, Timberwolves fans will be extremely concerned with this dispiriting performance, especially in light of their overtime loss to the Utah Jazz in game two. It’s still way too early in the season, and major acquisition Rudy Gobert has, by and large, played well, but Karl-Anthony Towns simply just hasn’t been up to par thus far.
Spurs up 30 on the Wolves. Just a disaster of a performance from Minnesota.
— Jon Krawczynski (@JonKrawczynski) October 25, 2022
— Michelle Sichak 🇺🇦 (@MichelleSichak) October 25, 2022
Karl-Anthony Towns had 27 points and 11 rebounds, and has been the Timberwolves’ best player during this game. However, Towns entered the night shooting only 36 percent from the field, clearly still adjusting to a role that’s seen him drift more often to the perimeter, while Anthony Edwards, who was coming off a 30 point, 13-19 shooting performance against the Thunder last night, has struggled mightily, going 3-15 for a mere 9 points.
And surely enough, NBA Twitter is at it again with the overreactions.
Gobert and Towns don't work; they can't guard the perimeter
— PJ Hoops (@RealPjHoops) October 25, 2022
What did the Timberwolves think adding Gobert was gonna do? Towns is not built to be a 4
— . (@FlyLikeJv2) October 25, 2022
Anthony Edwards is 3 of 15 and Gobert has only gotten up 3 shots 😂. It’s like Rudy is in Utah all over again
— Setia (@hellosetia) October 25, 2022
Only time will tell where the Spurs and Timberwolves end up in the NBA’s pecking order. But for now, Spurs fans will be elated and Timberwolves fans will be worried, and for good reason, even if the Timberwolves went on a 35-12 fourth quarter blitz to make the final scoreline more respectable.