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San Antonio Spurs 2017-18 season: Player rankings for Week 2

By Rob Wolkenbrod
ORLANDO, FL - OCTOBER 27: The San Antonio Spurs huddle during the game against the Orlando Magic on October 27, 2017 at Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. 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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images)
ORLANDO, FL - OCTOBER 27: The San Antonio Spurs huddle during the game against the Orlando Magic on October 27, 2017 at Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. 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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images)
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SAN ANTONIO,TX – OCTOBER 8: Brandon Paul #3 of the San Antonio Spurs tips in a rebound for two against the Denver Nuggets at AT&T Center on October 8, 2017 in San Antonio, Texas. 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 Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO,TX – OCTOBER 8: Brandon Paul #3 of the San Antonio Spurs tips in a rebound for two against the Denver Nuggets at AT&T Center on October 8, 2017 in San Antonio, Texas. 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 Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)

After Week 2 of San Antonio Spurs basketball, how do the player rankings look?

Two weeks of San Antonio Spurs basketball came and went. Week 2 featured wins against the Toronto Raptors and Miami Heat, and losses to the Orlando Magic and Indiana Pacers. This brought the Spurs’ record to 4-2.

LaMarcus Aldridge dominated Week 2. He remained the centerpiece of the offense, with Kawhi Leonard still rehabs a quad injury. Others stepped up to fill the No. 2 scorer role and contribute toward the two wins.

Week 3 starts on Monday, however, against the Boston Celtics. So, let’s look at how the next set of Spurs player rankings and see what movement (if any) took place.

No. 10: Brandon Paul

Previous week: N/A

Brandon Paul enters the Spurs player rankings for the first time this season. After playing just 7 minutes in the first three games combined, he finished the week with three consecutive 19-plus minute performances, displaying outside shooting (4-for-9 from 3-point range) and a knack for defense, racking up 4 steals.

As Jeff Garcia of News4SanAntonio.com noted, Gregg Popovich likes what he sees in Paul. Particularly on the opposite side of the court:

Popovich on Brandon Paul: “He’s got an edge to him. He plays aggressively and he’s a good defender.”#GoSpursGo #NBA

— JeffGSpursZone (@JeffGSpursZone) October 30, 2017

Paul has made an impression and should be a main contributor. He leaped Bryn Forbes, as well, and not just in this week’s rankings. Look out for this player from Illinois in Week 3 to see if the production stays consistent.

Brandon Paul is showing himself to be a pretty good individual defender. A good way to get on the floor.

— Jeff McDonald (@JMcDonald_SAEN) October 29, 2017

No. 9: Joffrey Lauvergne

Previous week: 8

Joffrey Lauvergne outplayed Patty Mills to start the season, but lost the past three games to a right ankle sprain. This happened during last Monday’s game against the Toronto Raptors. As of this writing, he is day-to-day.

Through three games, Lauvergne has provided depth off the bench as the only true backup big man in a small-ball league. He averaged 6 points and 5.3 rebounds per game in 15.7 minutes, and should regain this role and production upon return.

Next: No. 8 and 7

MIAMI, FL – OCTOBER 30: Goran Dragic #7 of the Miami Heat and Manu Ginobili #20 of the San Antonio Spurs in action during a NBA game at American Airlines Arena on October 30, 2016 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and condition of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ron Elkman/Sports Imagery/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL – OCTOBER 30: Goran Dragic #7 of the Miami Heat and Manu Ginobili #20 of the San Antonio Spurs in action during a NBA game at American Airlines Arena on October 30, 2016 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and condition of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ron Elkman/Sports Imagery/Getty Images)

No. 8: Patty Mills

Previous week: 9

Patty Mills has struggled to start the 2017-18 season. His point production rose near the end of Week 2, but on just 28.6 shooting in the last two games. Whether it’s pressing or just having bad luck, Mills hasn’t found his rhythm after re-signing for four years, $50 million.

Look for Mills to get out of this slump soon. He’s taken more 3-pointers over the past three games in a more aggressive stance on offense, which should pay off sooner than later.

A change in minutes won’t happen, either, struggles or not. So, the Aussie point guard doesn’t have much to worry about.

.@Patty_Mills has adjusted nicely to being the number 1 PG on the team, as made evident by today's effort #GoSpursGo pic.twitter.com/8EGK6CbdW2

— FOX Sports Southwest (@FOXSportsSW) October 29, 2017

No. 7: Manu Ginobili

Previous week: 7

Manu Ginobili’s production, at age 40, is all you can ask from him at this point. He’s getting between 15-22 minutes per game off the bench, providing some outside shooting and veteran leadership. So far, it’s paid off in doses, including a 14-point performance against Miami.

However, against the Orlando Magic and Indiana Pacers, Ginobili shot a combined 1-for-15 for 9 points. This will happen for the 16-year pro on occasion, with diminished ability and a reduced role. Games like the ones vs. Miami and Toronto will, too, with 23 combined points on 50 percent shooting.

Next: No. 6 and 5

SAN ANTONIO,TX – OCTOBER 23: Dejounte Murray #5 of the San Antonio Spurs reacts after a foul was not called against the Toronto Raptors at AT&T Center on October 23, 2017 in San Antonio, Texas. 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 Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO,TX – OCTOBER 23: Dejounte Murray #5 of the San Antonio Spurs reacts after a foul was not called against the Toronto Raptors at AT&T Center on October 23, 2017 in San Antonio, Texas. 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 Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)

No. 6: Dejounte Murray

Previous week: 2

Dejounte Murray was just the flavor of the week for the San Antonio Spurs about seven days ago. Then came the last three games, which featured struggles for the second-year pro on offense.

After putting up 16 points and 14 rebounds against the Toronto Raptors, Murray never had more than 7 points and 6 rebounds in any game. He’s also made just 4 of 23 field goal attempts, a far cry from the efficient shooting performances to open the year.

It’s only six games, however, and Murray will hit walls as a 21-year-old. His upside is too high to be frustrated or give up on, so look for him to bounce back in Week 3.

.@DejounteMurray becomes the second guard in @Spurs history with 15+ points & 15+ rebounds in a game.

? 16 points, 15 rebounds, 6 assists pic.twitter.com/1hlMHBidMZ

— NBA TV (@NBATV) October 24, 2017

No. 5: Kyle Anderson

Previous week: 6

Kyle Anderson is far from flashy on either end of the court. But he’s made the most of a limited opportunity, with his starting spot going to Leonard at an unknown date. That includes 8.4 points and 7.4 rebounds. Nothing special but certainly not bad. It’s come on 43.2 percent shooting, as well.

Slo Mo provides a little of everything for the San Antonio Spurs, except in a larger dose to start the season. His ball handling and rebounding abilities have been on display, producing more than 5 rebounds in all but one game and at least 1 assists in all six contests. This won’t last forever so enjoy while it lasts.

Next: No. 4 and 3

MIAMI, FL – OCTOBER 25: Danny Green #14 of the San Antonio Spurs shoots the ball against the Miami Heat on October 25, 2017 at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami, Florida. 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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL – OCTOBER 25: Danny Green #14 of the San Antonio Spurs shoots the ball against the Miami Heat on October 25, 2017 at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami, Florida. 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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)

No. 4: Danny Green

Previous week: 5

Outside of LaMarcus Aldridge, Danny Green might be the San Antonio Spurs’ most consistent player through six games. He failed to shoot 40 percent from the field just once, and is knocking down multiple 3-pointers every game.

Beyond that, Green has expanded his offensive repertoire, putting the ball on the floor and finding ways to the basket. He’s even cutting near the hoop.

The UNC product looks sharp to start the season and is filling his role admirably. Let’s see if this remains in Week 3, with games against the Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors.

Danny. Green. pic.twitter.com/xnmzLGrenf

— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) October 26, 2017

No. 3: Pau Gasol

Previous week: 4

Pau Gasol saw his minutes decrease in the first four games. To combat that, he delivered back-to-back good performances against the Magic and Pacers, with a double-double against the former and 17 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists and 5 blocks vs the former.

Gasol is still struggling against more athletic big men, finding trouble against the Pacers, Magic and Raptors. As long as his offensive production remains, he’ll get 20-30 minutes per night, even if he gets overwhelmed on the defensive end.

Next: No. 2 and 1

ORLANDO, FL – OCTOBER 27: LaMarcus Aldridge #12 of the San Antonio Spurs shoots the ball against the Orlando Magic on October 27, 2017 at Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. 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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images)
ORLANDO, FL – OCTOBER 27: LaMarcus Aldridge #12 of the San Antonio Spurs shoots the ball against the Orlando Magic on October 27, 2017 at Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. 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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images)

No. 2: Rudy Gay

Previous week: 3

It’s hard to tell that Rudy Gay had an Achilles injury in January. He looks smooth off the bench, scoring from all areas of the court and playing productive basketball. The defensive end is a different story, but the offensive end has been a plus, as the Spurs’ top scorer remains sidelined.

The sixth man role hasn’t been an adjustment for Gay. He’s playing between 22-26 minutes and doing everything asked of him, from blocking shots to grabbing rebounds and even making the extra pass.

As the season progresses, Gay will only get more comfortable. How far can he go in this offense?

OKAY, LA! pic.twitter.com/T7tpMNvJPI

— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) October 29, 2017

No. 1: LaMarcus Aldridge

Previous week: 1

It can’t get easier than putting LaMarcus Aldridge at No. 1. With Leonard still sidelined with a quad injury, Aldridge has stepped up as the go-to guy and looks like the old player from the Portland Trail Blazers. He’s had at least 20 points and 7 rebounds in all six games, never shooting below 42 percent from the field.

Must Read: 25 forgotten players that were on the Spurs

There’s no sign of the five-time All-Star slowing down. He’ll keep this up as long as Leonard stays out, with a timetable that’s still unknown. Let’s see what changes when the Spurs get to full strength, but for now, they have a No. 1 scorer to give the ball to and work inside.

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