San Antonio Spurs' weak defensive numbers likely to be liability for Friday's matchup with Nuggets

MVP frontrunner Nikola Jokic is averaging 24 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists for the Nuggets.

click to enlarge "At some point, you have to take pride in what you are doing execution-wise and competitively, and that starts with defense — and we really suck," Coach Gregg Popovich told reporters after a recent loss. "That's on me." - San Antonio Spurs
San Antonio Spurs
"At some point, you have to take pride in what you are doing execution-wise and competitively, and that starts with defense — and we really suck," Coach Gregg Popovich told reporters after a recent loss. "That's on me."
In the midst of a franchise record 16-game losing streak, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich offered a frank assessment of his young team's effort on the defensive end.

"Youth's got nothing to do with it," he told reporters after a listless 120-110 loss to the Charlotte Hornets. "At some point, you have to take pride in what you are doing execution-wise and competitively, and that starts with defense — and we really suck. That's on me."

San Antonio's defense has ranked among the worst in the league this season, and with less than a month left in a lost campaign, it seems unlikely to make a dramatic improvement.

Things don't get any easier for the Spurs this Friday against league MVP frontrunner Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets. Jokic is averaging an astounding 24 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists for the Nuggets, and will likely collect his third consecutive MVP trophy this summer.

Expect another strong showing from Keldon Johnson, who led all scorers with 30 points the last time these two teams met.

$12 and up, 7 p.m. Friday, March 10, AT&T Center, One AT&T Center Parkway, (210) 444-5000, attcenter.com, Bally Sports SW-SA.

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