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San Antonio Spurs Mid-Season Report

San Antonio Spurs Mid Season Review

San Antonio Spurs Mid-Season Review

San Antonio Spurs Mid Season Review

San Antonio Spurs and winning have been almost synonymous; for the last 23 years, 19 of those seasons have been above .500. This season is quite different; the Spurs have only won 19 games and are losing in terrible fashion. They sit at 14th in the Western Conference and only one game above the Houston Rockets.

Tanking has been a significant part of all sports in the modern era, and this season is no different. The silver lining for the Spurs is this year, the projected prize for the last team in the league is either Victor Wembanyama or Scoot Henderson. These being what you end up with for a terrible season like the Spurs have put up is not half bad.

The spurs are averaging a little over 112 points per game, 23rd in the league. This, included with their other offensive stats, puts them at 29th in the company for offensive rating. Finally, the net rating is the worst in the association at -9.2. Over the years, Greg Popovich has done nothing but succeed in the league.

Spurs New Look Backcourt

When breaking the team down, let’s start with the backcourt. Olympic gold-medalist Keldon Johnson and Tre Jones have had productive seasons. Johnson has been averaging around 22 points per game. Paired with Jones’ nearly seven assists per game, the two are finding shots and teammates.

There’s Devin Vassell coming in and showing great potential off the bench. Vassell is averaging 18 points a game and four assists. During the trade deadline, the Spurs acquired Devontae Graham from the Charlotte Hornets. He has been an excellent addition to the team off the bench providing good scoring and facilitating off the bench.

New Faces in big Places

Moving up, you have the rookie Jeremy Sochan who has been a good prospect. Sochan has not had a terrible season. He has battled with trouble from the line with his bizarre one-handed form. The Baylor bear has been efficient with his minutes; he has played all games and is averaging 11 points and six rebounds.

The other forward that has been doing well this season is Doug McDermott. McDermott is shooting close to .450 from 3. He has been 5th in the effective field goal percentage this season and remains consistent.

Spurs and Their Defensive Struggles

This team’s record does not look the way it does due to the team’s offensive talent; it is the terrible defense they play on a nightly basis. The spurs are sitting last for the defensive rating (119.8) in the NBA this season. 119 is also the worst in league history. What is even crazier about this stat is that the three after them are also all from this season.

The Spurs are allowing close to 122 points, a feat that has not been touched since the 1968 Bullets. With numbers like this, it is easy to understand why people call this spurs team one of the worst defensive teams ever.

The Spurs are historically known to use drop coverage to defend the pick-and-roll. This means that the Spurs send the guard over the ball screen to cover the ballhandler while the big man stays down to protect the paint in case of a drive or stop a shot.

This year, there have been multiple occlusions where drop coverage is working due to Jakob Poeltl, who the Spurs traded at the deadline. Now that he is gone, the defense is struggling more. The defense also is never going to work as well when you lose such a dynamic guard like Dejounte Murray. The guards filling in for him on this roster have difficulty fighting through the screens, leaving the ballhandlers wide-open for threes.

Transition defense has also been a struggle for the Spurs this year. They rank 25th in opponent fastbreak points (15.1) and 28th in opponent points off turnovers (19.1). One of the principal reasons for these numbers comes from (unsurprisingly) turnovers. The Spurs rank 25th in the league in turnovers per game (15.6), allowing opponents to capitalize on easy buckets.

This year’s team is very different for the fans of Spurs fans, but the bright side is this. The last number one pick the spurs took was none other than Tim Duncan, arguably the greatest power forward of all time. So if this season results in a Duncan-like character, I think the San Antonians will be very happy with it.

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