San Antonio Spurs: Early Season Surprises and Disappointments


We are about two weeks into the NBA’s grueling 82 game regular season. With the season now underway, let’s take a look at the San Antonio Spurs early season surprises and disappointments.

The Spurs have started out 4-3 to begin the season and even though it is early, there have been many headlines made from their start.

Scroll through the slides to check out the Spurs early season surprises and disappoints through the team’s first seven games of the regular season.

Surprise: Cory Joseph’s Hot Start

Cory Joseph or “Contract Co Jo” as they are calling him nowadays has been off to a fantastic start to the season. Joseph was expected to play some big time minutes off the bench with San Antonio’s second string point guard Patty Mills out until January and boy has he delivered.

The former University of Texas star has turned into a nice scoring option off the bench, averaging 8.0 points and posting a 17.8 player efficiency rating to start the season.

In hindsight, this breakout could have been predicted. Joseph has been improving his per 36 scoring numbers each season he’s been in the NBA along with his field goal percentage.

Hopefully Joseph can keep up this hot start. The Spurs will need him to as he is currently the team’s only point guard option behind Tony Parker.

Disappointment: Austin Daye’s Slow Start

Austin Daye was not very good for the Spurs last season only posting averages of 4.1 points and 1.4 rebounds on a poor 38.2% from the field in limited playing time.

However, some thought that the former Gonzaga player could turn it around this season after an impressive showing over the summer at the Las Vegas Summer League, averaging 16.3 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 3 assists.

That solid performance over the summer seems to a distant memory now, especially considering his woes to start the season. Daye is averaging fewer points, 2.1, and shooting much worse, 19.2% from the field, in increased playing time this season.

He looks like he is in for a rough year and it’s unfortunate considering the promise he had coming into this season.

Surprise: Spurs 4-3 record

This could also be categorized as disappointment, however, we will go with surprise. The Spurs are off to a slow start record wise which is surprising.

No it’s not time to panic, the back-to-back wins this week show you why, but you can scratch your head a little.

The Spurs have come out with fast starts the past couple of seasons, 18-4 in 2013 and 19-4 in 2014, which makes this slow start, well, surprising.

If the two back-to-back wins are any indication though, it should not be an issue for San Antonio. The Spurs just need to make sure they bring it every night considering they will have an “X” on their back every night since they are the champs and the fact that they play in the ultra-competitive Southwest Division.

Disappointment: High Turnovers to Start Season

The San Antonio Spurs were one of the better teams in protecting the ball last season, averaging only 14.1 turnovers. That makes this season’s early turnover issues very disappointing, especially considering the Spurs essentially brought their whole team back from last year’s title run.

The good news is that the turnover issues have seemed to be corrected as of late. San Antonio only committed eight turnovers in each of their last two games.

The work is not done here yet though. The Spurs have to continue to make sure they practice good ball control in order to keep winning games.

Surprise: Back-to-Back Victories Against Clippers and Warriors

The Spurs needed this to calm the storm that was potentially brewing among fans in San Antonio. They also needed this to prove to themselves and the rest of the league that they were the NBA defending champion Spurs (nice ring to it).

While the game against Los Angeles was an ugly win the victory of Golden State was a game of beauty.

It’s nice to see the Spurs getting back to their winning ways and playing ultra-efficient San Antonio basketball. Most people doubted the Spurs would start this road trip 2-0, especially with Duncan and Ginobili possibly sitting out the Warriors game to rest, which makes the wins all the more sweeter.

Disappointment: Poor Team Shooting from Three

Simply put, the Spurs have had an awful start to the season in terms of their ability to hit the deep ball. San Antonio is only shooting 30.3% from three as a team, good for 28th overall in the league, just slightly above the surprising Sacramento Kings and pitiful Denver Nuggets.

This is shocking considering the Spurs are known for their three-point weapons. It is fair to say some of it has been attributed to injury with Marco Belinelli and Patty Mills missing time with the team.

Still, some of the guys are just plain struggling from deep. Danny Green is shooting 27.8% from three, one-eyed Kawhi is shooting 26.7% from three, and “The Red Mamba” Matt Bonner is only shooting 23.1% from three.

The Spurs need these guys to get out of their funk fast. Three-point shooting is key to San Antonio’s game-plan as it is something they excel in and need to open up driving lanes.

Next: Kawhi Leonard: I'll Be in A Spurs Jersey for My Whole Life