The San Antonio Spurs have had one glaring weakness this season and that is on the boards. And that applies to both ends of the court.
A second round pick who could make an immediate impact is Kentucky’s Oscar Tshiebwe. He is an absolute rebounding monster and he’s more than strong enough to hold his own against most big men.
The 6-foot-9, 255-pound forward has been Kentucky’s best player in many games this season and has been one of the reasons they’ve been so good defensively. He is averaging over a steal and a block this season on top of leading the country in rebounds per game. He has a phenomenal motor and is a player that this staff and fan base would love to watch. Here are his stats through 26 games this season.
- 16.2 PPG, 15.3 RPG, 2.0 SPG, 1.4 BPG
- 58.8 FG%, 70.7 FT%
- 34.4 PER, 125.4 ORtg, 80.3 DRtg
Tshiebwe is not a huge offensive threat right now, but his mid-range game has been improving and he gets a ton of hustle buckets. He gets putbacks every game as he averages about five offensive boards a game, surely a skill the Spurs can utilize. He would be a good Jakob Poeltl replacement or sub if they played together down the road.
“The Machine” is a superb athlete as well, evidenced by his blocking ability and his out-of-the-gym hops. He’s a good lob target — another way in which he gets many of his buckets — and can go up to get just about any pass. He has some post game and is usually able to bully his way to the rim when Kentucky decides to throw the ball into him.
The biggest issue is that Tshiebwe is an undersized center and doesn’t add offense beyond the arc. He doesn’t take slower or bigger guys off the dribble and doesn’t have a whole lot of face up game. That much is concerning, but if you feel strongly about a great rebounder, then “The Beast” is your guy.