After the Spurs missing the postseason for the first time in 22 years people aren’t expected Spurs to come back soon at the playoff race in the wild wild west. They’ve been ranked as the 13th best teams in the conference slightly better than the Oklahoma City Thunder and Minnesota Timberwolves. People are expecting San Antonio to be in the lottery once again. Pundits even rank Spurs’ best player DeMar DeRozan as the 82nd best player of the league. Imagine PJ Tucker of the Houston Rockets was ahead of the four times All-Star at 72nd best player. DeRozan on his second back-to-back 20/5/5 season but still, they aren’t convinced that he’s better than half of the guys on their list. The last one was the Spurs was only the team that doesn’t have an All-Star even they had a better record lead by DeMar DeRozan. Zion Williamson and Rudy Gobert are an All-Star reserve which they think they had a better season than the Spurs veteran.
The Spurs currently at the fifth seed with a 17-12 record as they beat the team like the Lakers(1-2), Clippers (1-0), Nuggets (1-0), and Blazers (1-0). The San Antonio Spurs was 14-1 this season when leading double figures in the game. It was the effect of DeRozan’s leadership as the team was supposed to win only 29 games according to some sports references. He leads the Spurs in scoring at 20 per game also in assists at 7. The veteran had 4 double-doubles with two 30 and 10. DeRozan has been on the career-best at the free throw lines with seven a game and made almost 90%. The eleven-year veteran also didn’t hesitate to attempt a three as he converted 33% of it. The way people criticized San Antonio has gone into nothing. Even some fans keep on talking about how bad the Spurs for not getting a return for LaMarcus Aldridge and DeMar DeRozan who’s on the last year of their contract. They can go elsewhere this offseason as either of them will be a free agent.
All of the doubt about the San Antonio Spurs was a change when Gregg Popovich makes major changes. After putting Keldon Johnson at the starting line-up who puts huge numbers and incredible talent on both ends of the court the Spurs started well. The kid was only 20 but had a big-time moment on the court. Johnson’s energy in the court was special as he always finds a way to battle on the offensive glass. While Popovich also giving a huge chunk of minutes to Dejounte Murray who’s becoming a great facilitator. The four-year Spurs guard had career highs with 15.7 points, 7 rebounds, and 5.6 assists per game. The most important thing was Murray lessened his turnover as he makes great decision-making. Dejounte has been great for San Antonio at 29 games he registered 8 double-doubles and twice in triple-doubles. Recently Murray made a career-high with 8 steals against the Golden State Warriors. Some of the young guys like Lonnie Walker IV also scoring in double figures this season after allowing him to play consistent minutes. They also had a rookie at Devin Vassell who’s ready to take off anytime. The kid has been solid defensively with a tremendous upside offensively.
Not only by having a good start but the Spurs made a huge adjustment by putting Jakob Poeltl at the starting five in place of LaMarcus Aldridge. The big man from Austria was a huge body on the paint that disrupts everything offensively. Also with the back of Derrick White, the Spurs are getting better. The duo of Murray and White was scary defensively which hard to figure out. The Spurs bench is among one of the league-best here.
While the Spurs put Aldridge off the bench at the last two games it was a great move. It could be hard on the veteran’s ego but he accepted it professionally. The Spurs played less in the post which runs some pick and pops with Aldridge as he looks efficient. The other two veterans Patty Mills and Rudy Gay continue to contribute enough for the team in terms of scoring. These veterans are doing this not because they don’t have it anymore but it’s time for the young guys to have a responsibility to get better.
The Spurs is the team that doesn’t care what you say. They are the team build in years without getting into the bottom of the league. These guys are getting better and better every second they stepped on the court. The Spurs had a better record than the Denver Nuggets, Portland Trail Blazers, Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, and Dallas Mavericks. They had a better record than the Boston Celtic and Toronto Raptors from the East. Spurs had all disadvantages in the league, the market, the hype, and free agency destination but somehow they manage to make everything turns into gold. They made Trey Lyles, Drew Eubanks, Luka Samanic, Tre Jones, and Keita Bates Diop into a serviceable backup.
We can say that the Spurs had a better future compared to a team like they mentioned most of the time. Multiple players at 25 below making a huge group that can compete in the future and now. Like real expert said they can’t win all of it but do not bet against San Antonio Spurs.