This topic contains 3 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by AvatarAvatar Hitster 1 month ago.

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  • #1263185

    With lottery teams collecting young talent who are doing well statistically but the team’s win/loss record isn’t improving is there any way that you can say a team is improving or is it just “trust the process”?

    The Spurs have not really improved winwise this season despite having Wemby who is having a great rookie year and putting up defensive changing numbers. The other younger core are being a solid support crew but the wins column isn’t improving. Do they just need an extra couple of young players in or sign a veteran FA or two or wait for Wemby to mature and then attract an All Star level FA or one via a trade. Detroit seem to be in a similar position and Houston are still well below 0;500 despite some very high picks, Segun developing superbly and adding an All Star and title winning player in FVV.

    The Spurs don’t seem too worried by their results and Popp and co certainly know how to build a team. So is it just a matter of waiting for all the parts to naturally join up or do teams need to be proactive when rebuilding?

  • #1263186

    Interesting topic… For the Spurs in particular, they seem to be collecting talented prospects over the years and making them very good players. They’ve been doing it by trying things out with their players playing uncomfortable roles to improve there weaknesses on each individual level to collectively make a good team. A perfect example is the Jeremy Sochan experiment. He played PG for the beginning of the season. No it didn’t work, but I’m willing to bet that Sochan becomes a really good player here. Although it’s not the same player at all, Brandon Ingram grew immensely playing multiple positions and having growing pains on the Lakers… now he can do a lot. Sochan to maybe a little lesser degree will go a similar path. I see this a lot with rebuilding teams. This is great for players who could be good or even great that are still a work in progress. There is a bit of trust the process, but the Spurs also hit a few years on Dejounte Murray. Before he went to the Hawks, Dejounte Murray was statistically a top 5 PG. The Spurs groomed him to be. Now they have a home run in Wemby… They should be a contender in the near future, but are still a work in progress…
    This is a good way to develop players, only thing is it doesn’t always represent the best 5 combination of players on the court at once in the here and now. It’s all about developing that core for the chance to build a dynasty in the long run in a system like that.
    There are times when that process backfires. If a player just doesn’t develop well enough in areas he needs to, he’s more like Ben Simmons. Simmons is still a force on defense and can pass. But he never took a jump in his growth and still can’t shoot a lick. He’s an example of what backfired for any team that’s ever had him so far.
    Right now though, the Spurs developed Devin Vassell a bit and Keldon Johnson hasn’t been bad either. they have essentially developed Sochan/Vassell/Johnson/Wemby and have one glaring weakness to the starters. They could upgrade the bench some, but other guys need to emerge like Blake Wesley or even get additional talent, especially at point going forward and then they can contend again. They’re also very young and make mistakes.
    So yeah, with teams like the Spurs it is a bit of a trust the process mentality, but with the better of the league in mind for the future – if that makes sense.

  • #1263188

    Part of this is an assessment of the league. Three things are important to consider: the talent level is very high; the improved infrastructure for player development is paying dividends; statistics have never been so easy to accumulate because of pace, lack of defense, officiating, and a high level of offensive skill. It is very easy to look at Houston, and think “Jalen Green, Jabari Smith, and Alperen Sengun are going to be in the league a long time.” “Cam Whitmore and Tari Eason have flashed quite a bit of upside for a #17 and #20 pick.” “Fred VanVleet and Dillon Brooks could get in just about any team’s rotation, and start in many.” At the same time, what do they do well together? Their defensive metrics aren’t bad, but they can only be so good with Sengun, VanVleet, and Jalen Green on that end. By the standards of the current league, they aren’t a good shooting team. I don’t think they have an identity, or a sense of what kind of team they have to be in order to be successful.

    San Antonio is somewhat similar. Wemby is going to be a star. Keldon Johnson, Devin Vassell, and Jeremy Sochan are long-term pros. Tre Jones and Zach Collins can be in most rotations. Do they make sense together? I don’t think so. Jones, Johnson, and Sochan are poor shooters. Even when it looks like the Spurs are going big because they have length in Sochan, Johnson, Victor, and Collins, they don’t play in a way that discomforts the opposition. I like the idea of overwhelming other teams with size and length, but that isn’t what happens. They can’t shoot, play bully ball, or defend. The Spurs have a clear focal point for what they want to do. They can’t fall in love with guys who will have careers, but don’t make sense for them. Other than Vassell, and maybe Champagnie in a lesser role, they have to be willing to move guys to find better fits. A point guard is a clear need, but I would also like a frontcourt partner with some heft who could allow them to more effectively go big with Victor at the 4. Given how little they changed their roster last summer after winning the lottery, it shouldn’t be a surprise that they don’t seem to work well together.

  • #1263191

    The Spurs I’d love to see an experienced pass first creative PG to go in there and run the offence around Wemby. I fully agree that the roster needs to be built around Wemby. The Spurs will teach guys to defend or get players in who can. The idea of a big muscular C alongside Wemby makes a huge amount of sense as one could bully the paint whilst Wemby can dominate away from the basket.

    What they do in this year’s draft I still don’t know and a lot will depend on whether the Toronto pick comes over or not. I do trust Popp and co to get it right long term much more than a lot of other teams in rebuild and they have the generational player in place to do so.


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