San Antonio Spurs veteran center Pau Gasol blamed lack of familiarity as a reason behind their string of losses. “We have to do a better job of not putting ourselves in a position where it’s a coin flip at the end of a game,” Gasol told Jeff Garcia of Sports Zone. Gasol explained that most of the Spurs’ mistakes in their past losses were due to lack of familiarity. The veteran center added that the Spurs have a lot of new guys on the floor and they struggle down the stretch without their familiar leaders in Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker.

The Spurs are currently adjusting in the absence of Leonard and Parker.

They have Dejounte Murray as new starting guard and added some new pieces in backup center Joffrey Lauvergne and backup forward Rudy Gay and it will take several games for them to adjust with the system. After a 4-0 start, the Spurs have lost three straight to the Orlando Magic, Indiana Pacers and the Boston Celtics, dropping them to 4-3. The Spurs will have time to regroup before they take on the defending champion Golden State Warriors (5-3) in a rematch of their Western Conference Finals showdown last season. The Spurs will play the Warriors without Leonard while Manu Ginobilli and Lauvergne are all day-to-day.

Aldridge scored just 11 vs Celtics

After scoring 20-plus points in each of his first six games, including a season-high 31 points, LaMarcus Aldridge was limited to just 11 on 5-of-13 shooting in their 108-94 loss to the Celtics.

Brandon Paul led the Spurs with 18 points off the bench, Gay added 14 points, Gasol chipped in 11 and Murray scored 10 points for the Spurs, who shot just 36-of-87 from the field for 41 percent. The Spurs were also outrebounded by the Celtics, 54-40. Kyrie Irving paced the Celtics with 24 points and six assists, Jaylen Brown had 18, Al Horford submitted a double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds, while Terry Rozier added 12 off the bench for Boston.

When will Leonard return?

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said he’s not asking the team’s medical staff on the return of Leonard. Popovich told Chris Forsberg of ESPN that he’s just waiting for the medical staff to tell him he’s ready and then he will play his star player. Popovich made the pronouncement when asked about the timetable on Leonard’s return.

In an earlier interview, Popovich said Leonard might return in November. Leonard is still recovering from a quad injury that caused him to miss the whole of preseason. In 74 games last season, Leonard averaged 25.5 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists per outing.