Spurscast Ep. 639: Can the Spurs get back into the Top 10 defensively?


In Spurscast episode 639, Spurscast host Paul Garcia discusses the latest San Antonio Spurs topics: 

  • The Spurs going 1-3 in their last four games against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Phoenix Suns, Atlanta Hawks, and Boston Celtics
  • Can the Spurs get back to a Top 10 defensive level?
  • Tre Jones’ start to Year 2
  • Keldon Johnson’s improved 3-point shooting

1-3 in Last 4 Games

The San Antonio Spurs snapped their 6-game losing streak Friday with a close win against the Boston Celtics. In the episode, the Spurs’ losses to the Timberwolves, Suns, and Hawks are discussed, as well as the surprising win against Boston.

The Spurs are now 5-13 through 18 games. They’re 3.5 games behind the Timberwolves in the standings for 10th out West and in 5th for the best lottery odds.

Doug McDermott and Devin Vassell‘s recent injuries are also discussed in the episode.

Can the defense get back to a Top 10 level?

During their 6-game losing streak, the Spurs’ defense had started to slip, allowing opponents to score over 110 points in 5 of those 6 games.

The Spurs showed on one night Friday against the Celtics they can become a Top 10 defense, after they held the Celtics to just 88 points.

The defense through 18 games is analyzed by where the Spurs are elite, where they’re average, and where they’re bottom 10 and need to improve to get back to a Top 10 level.

Tre Jones’ Start to Year 2

Tre Jones’ start to his second year of his career is discussed. While Jones is known for his defense, he’s been very efficient with his shot selection in the paint and he’s making those paint shots at a very accurate number early in the season.

Keldon Johnson’s Improvement from 3-Point Range

While his attempts are still low, Keldon Johnson has drastically improved his 3-point accuracy. He’s now making 39% of his attempts from outside, which is the second most accurate number on the team among rotation players.

This is also shown in the wide-open 3s data. 70% of Johnson’s 3-point attempts were attempted wide open at one point during the season. Now, that number is down to just 55% of his attempts being attempted wide open.

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