West Notes: Spurs, Lakers, Warriors

Spurs

The Spurs held a rare practice where the focus was defense in an attempt to overcome their sluggish start to the season, per Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News.Keldon Johnson

Because of a bevy of games, the Spurs haven’t been able to fine time to work on getting ready for those games.

“We focused on the little things, the fundamentals,” guard/forward Keldon Johnson said. “We haven’t had a practice in like six or seven games. Just little things, closing out on defense, that’s the main thing.”

Coach Gregg Popovich said the lack of practice has become evident recently, particularly in Sunday’s loss to the Thunder.

“We stayed in the game  and had chances because we are competing well, but the execution defensively both individual and team-wise has kind of slacked off,” Popovich said.

Lakers

  • Guard/forward Talen Horton-Tucker (thumb) has been approved for contact and returned to full practices for the first time this season. Once cleared for game action, he should provide a boost to a Lakers lineup that has been without LeBron James. “Mentally I’m just trying to stay positive throughout everything,” Horton-Tucker said, via Kyle Goon of the LA Daily News. “Watching basketball is hard; just the competitor in me wants to get out there and play.”
  • Overall, though, the Lakers have been beset by injuries, which they feel is holding them back. “But nobody really cares,” guard Russell Westbrook said. “Nobody cares if that’s happening, if guys are hurt, if guys are not in. Nobody cares.”

Warriors

  • Steph Curry‘s 50-point, 10-assist performance vs. the Hawks left everyone both impressed and speechless. “It was just a stunning performance,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “He rises to the occasion over and over again, because he loves the challenge. You could see Steph’s competitiveness on full display.”
  • Curry admittedly had to work on his mechanics before the game. “I need you to have a little bit more conviction about when it’s time to shoot,” he said.
  • While the Warriors have gotten off to an NBA-best start, veteran wing Andre Iguodala cautioned that there’s still a long way to go. “We’re OK, we’re a work-in-progress,” Iguodala told reporters. “We’ve had a more favorable schedule, so I don’t think you look too much into it. We’re doing what we’re supposed to do.”

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