Mar 24, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs forwardMarco Belinelli
(3) drives to the basket past Dallas Mavericks forwardChandler Parsons
(25) during the game at the American Airlines Center. The Mavericks defeated the Spurs 101-94. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Marco Belinelli was an important role player for the Spurs over the past two seasons. Last season, he averaged 9.2 points making 37% of his threes. In 2013-14, Belinelli was one of the more reliable Spurs players as he averaged 11.4 points. He also finished seventh in the league in three-point percentage (43%).
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In the 2015 postseason, Belinelli averaged 9.3 points on 47% threes.
One thing is for sure Belinelli will be missed. The Spurs will struggle to replace Belinelli, who can shoot at a high level and is a solid defender with a high IQ.
Which Spurs player will take on Belinelli’s old role?
The Spurs will call on Patty Mills to do a lot of what Belinelli did. Mills is more of a point guard at 6″0, but he excels at shooting. Mills, like Belinelli was terrific in the postseason. Mills averaged 10.1 points and he made 57% of his threes. With Cory Joseph gone, Mills role will only get bigger.
Manu Ginobili will have to continue to provide playmaking and shooting for the Spurs.
The wildcard in replacing Belinelli is Jimmer Fredette. Fredette will have to play his way onto the roster as he has a training camp deal. If Fredette makes it his career can be revived. The 26-year old sharpshooter from BYU will be called upon to make shots. In his three-year career he has averages of 6.1 points on 38% threes. The problem is that Fredette hasn’t gotten a fair shake, as he has 7 starts in his career. He is also an abysmal defender that struggles with athletic guards.
It’s clear that Spurs fans will miss Belinelli, no matter how good they are on paper.