What will San Antonio Spurs center Joffrey Lauvergne bring to the table this season?
The San Antonio Spurs are gearing up for another season. After an interesting offseason, all eyes are on San Antonio as the Spurs face an uphill battle this year. The team signed forward Rudy Gay, guard Brandon Paul, and center Joffrey Lauvergne. It seems like of the three, Lauvergne faces the most pressure.
The Spurs are lacking depth in their frontcourt this season. As a result, Lauvergne will be seeing some major minutes throughout the season. And it looks like he is ready for the opportunity.
— Joffrey Lauvergne (@1JOLOLO) September 24, 2017
Since he is entering his third season, Lauvergne will be able to bring some experience to the position. During his time in the NBA, Lauvergne has averaged 6.1 points, 4.0 rebounds, and around one assist per game. These numbers are not bad, but they certainly are not great.
Let’s take a deeper look at Lauvergne’s stats throughout his first three seasons, via Basketball-Reference.
First, let’s look at his block percentage. Upon entering the league, he was able to produce almost three blocks per game. As for the next few years, that number has dropped substantially. His percentage last season was at 0.5 percent.
If the Spurs want to be able to compete in this wild Western Conference, this number has to rise. With Lauvergne being the lone backup center for the team, he is going to be relied on heavily. Consequently, when teams see this number being so low, they will attack the rim more. They will form their strategy to abuse Launvergne down low.
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In addition to his rim protection, Lauvergne needs to be able to score. This 6’11” powerhouse can bully his way to the basket. The Spurs will need to see that this season.
Because his scoring is important, let’s look at his shooting percentages. Lauvergne is shooting 44 percent from the field. With a true shooting percentage of 53 percent for his career. Compared to other role centers, these numbers are too low. With a stature like he has, he needs to be able to be shooting closer to 50 percent from the field.
Next, let’s look at his rebounding. Let’s compare his stats to veteran David West from the Golden State Warriors. Last season alone, West was able to average a whole two more rebounds per game than Leaunvergne has in his career. With the game becoming more focused on the 3-point shot, second chance points are crucial. Lauvergne has got to see these numbers increase.
Now that we have looked at the things Lauvergne needs to work on, how does he do it? How do the Spurs use him in a way that he can see results?
If the Spurs are going to be playing small this season, then Lauvergne will be alone on the court at some points. Meaning the power forward will be playing on the perimeter. That means Launvergne won’t have to worry about scoring the ball. His only focus will be crashing the boards.
If the Spurs play with a classic lineup, meaning they have two true bigs in the frontcourt. This means Lauvergne will either be looked at to score or get rebounds. Ideally, I’d like to only see him on the floor with fellow forward LaMarcus Aldridge. Because Aldrige is more comfortable taking over the scoring. This leaves Launverge to focus on rebounds.
It all depends on what kind of offense the Spurs want to use this season. But nonetheless, Lauvergne needs to be ready to crash the boards, protect the rim, and score the ball. If he can improve in these categories, things are looking good for the Spurs.