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Part of the job is staying positive says Spurs' Poeltl

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Minnesota Timberwolves' Karl-Anthony Towns (32) drives against San Antonio Spurs' Jakob Poeltl during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)

The San Antonio Spurs are 6-13 on the season. Not exactly how the team likely imagined the season to start after 19 games.

Recently, the team lost to Minnesota at the AT&T Center making it their fifth home loss in a row and 10th loss their last 11 outings.

But in these difficult days in San Antonio, center Jakob Poeltl expressed that he's sticking with a positive attitude.

“I mean, it’s our job," Poeltl said when asked about staying positive. "We have to stay at it, it doesn't matter how many games we lose, or how we lose the games."

Losing to the Timberwolves wasn't ideal but sifting through the outcome, there were things the team can be positive about.

Lonnie Walker IV had a breakout game with 11 points in 13 minutes, the team erased a 15-point Minnesota lead, had just six turnovers for the game and outscored the Timberwolves 52-36 in the paint.

"It's about getting better at the things that we can control and move on to the next game," Poeltl said.

Focusing on improvements and moving on to the next game is all the team can do. The problem is the next game is against the new-look Clippers with Paul George and former Spur Kawhi Leonard.

That won't be an easy task for the Spurs that are free-falling in the West. The team is currently 13th in the West and with each loss making the playoffs a hard to reach goal.

The Spurs have also switched up the starting unit in an effort to get better. Poeltl is back in the starting five as well as Derrick White. Paired with DeMar DeRozan, Bryn Forbes and LaMarcus Aldridge (the same starting unit as late last season) has some signs of being effective moving forward.

According to Cleaning The Glass, that five man unit owns an effective field goal percentage of 57.1 which pits them in the 97th percentile in the NBA. It also owns a 8.1-percent turnover percentage which is also tops in the NBA according to Cleaning The Glass.

In addition, in the last three games the newly revamped starting five has a +1.3 defensive rating.

Offensively, the Spurs have been solid but against Minnesota, their three-point shooting was lacking (5/29) as well as their three-point defense allowing 18 three-point makes by the Timberwolves.

"We can’t really control if we can move the ball well. We can look for the right shots, but at the end of the day they got to go in," Poeltl said.

If it's not one thing it's another through 19 games for the Spurs and Poeltl is focused on what can be done right now.

“I mean, defense, effort, we have to hustle plays, all those kinds of stuff," Poeltl said.

Twitter: @JeffGSpursZone

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