After managing to win 3 out of the five games so far, the Spurs are in reach of the 9th seed, and the 8th seeded Memphis. Now with the team’s fate fully upon its players, the 22 year playoff streak is very much in play. In this article we will take a look at the good, and the bad, from the Spurs performance in Orlando so far.
1.The Spurs’ youth putting the league on notice
Although the young Spurs players weren’t able to escape the excessive turnovers and mistakes that come along with youth, they have brought a new level of energy and speed for the team.
Derrick White has been no doubt the MVP for the Spurs. Averaging 20+ points per game and more than t assists per game. The most astonishing part of White’s game so far, however, is his three point shot. This man can shoot! Out of the five games played so far, White made 4 threes in three of them. Whatsmore, Derrick is shooting them at a hot 45%. White has been aggressive and confident on both ends of the floor, and for the most parts of his playing time was the best Spur on the court. Derrick White provided the Spurs with some dynamic guard play we haven’t seen in a while.
Despite White’s hot hand, other players have had their fair share of surprises in the bubble.
- Dejounte Murray has been his usual self, pestering players on the defensive end. But it seems like Murray has added to his offensive arsenal. The three point shot has become more smooth, while the mid range jumper has become a go to move, and a pretty efficient one too.
- Keldon Johnson has become the spark plug off the bench. Averaging 12 PTS and 6 REB per game while adding on multiple hustle plays. If Johnson continues his hot streak, he might become one of the more impactful Spurs rookies in recent memory.
- Jakob Poeltl seemed basically old self in the first four games in the bubble, grabbing some boards while sending some shots back on the defensive end. Thus, Poeltl offensive break through against Jazz last game was a surprise, scoring 19 points on 9-12 shooting. Hopefully Poeltl can continue to provide the spurs with some much needed big man scoring.
2. Demar DeRozan finding his role in the youth movement
For the first three quarters of the Kings opener, Demar DeRozan provided the young guys with open looks, but scored close to nothing by himself. Not because he missed all of his shots, but because he simply didn’t take any shots. An all-star level player shooting only 5 shots in three quarters is unheard of, but we quickly witnessed DeRozan’s presence late in the fourth of all three games. Demar exploded for 17 fourth quarter points. Stopping Sacramento’s late game comeback and securing the win for San Antonio.
Well, that has been the story of DeRozan so far in Orlando. Against the Grizzlies, Demar scored the Spurs last 6 points. Also, he made the game winning free throws with one second left. In the contest against Philly DeRozan once again stepped up in the fourth. He scored 13 points and almost led the Spurs to a heavy upset. In many of the matchups, it was Derozan’s stellar and clutch play that pushed the Spurs for a late surge. Many of us have wondered how Demar will fit in with a core almost a decade younger than him. Well, now we see an answer.
So far in Orlando, Demar has strengthened his focus on creating opportunities for the young guys. Currently, he is leading the Spurs with 7 assists per game. Yet when the team looks out of gas, Demar doesn’t hesitate to carry the team on his back. He still can take over the scoring duties–the bread and butter of his career.
Spurs Future Core Part 1: Dejounte Murray, Derrick White, Lonnie Walker IV
Spurs Future Core Part 2: Luka Samanic, Jakob Poeltl, Chimezie Metu
Two Spurs Most Likely To Break Out in Orlando: https://www.overtimeheroics.net/index.php/2020/07/30/2-spurs-most-likely-to-break-out-in-orlando/