Starter Spotlight: Dedmon Steps Up For Spurs in Gasol’s Absence

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PHILADELPHIA, PA - FEBRUARY 8: Dewayne Dedmon #3 of the San Antonio Spurs dunks the ball in the first quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center on February 8, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Spurs defeated the 76ers 111-103. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

With the All-Star Weekend approaching, and the return of Pau Gasol imminent, San Antonio Spurs backup center Dewayne Dedmon has proven his capability as a worthy substitute.

Since Gasol’s injury in mid-January, various Spurs backups have tried their hand at starting. Head Coach Gregg Popovich and the Spurs tried various starting lineups since Gasol’s injury, both big and small, but one player has made the biggest impact.

Dedmon has started 10 out of the 15 games the Spurs have played since Gasol suffered his hand injury. In those ten games, Dedmon has averaged 8.4 points and 9.9 rebounds, but his impact doesn’t stop at his statistics.

Throughout his first year with the Spurs, Dedmon has made a name for himself as an alley-oop artist and rebound specialist able to work cohesively with his teammates on both ends of the court. The ability and confidence shown by the undrafted 27-year-old center is a good sign for the future of the Spurs.

Another Spurs starter in the spotlight this week is none other than the Spurs’ leading scorer, Kawhi Leonard. Leonard, who has emerged as a franchise player over the last few seasons, is having an incredible season. Leonard has scored over 30 points 19 times this season, breaking his career high for multiple times this season. Leonard’s current career best is 41 points, which he scored on January 21st of this year against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Kawhi will head to New Orleans this weekend where he will represent the Western Conference as an All-Star starter.

Going into the remainder of the season after the All-Star break, the Spurs can look forward to the return of Gasol. Whether or not he is able to return right away, the Spurs still have a reliable backup center to turn to in Dedmon, The remainder of the season will also hold excitement in the continued growth and leadership of Leonard.

The Spurs have 26 games left in the regular season and they get back to their regular season schedule February 24th, at 9:30p.m. CST in Los Angeles against the Clippers.

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