Following Week 4, how do the San Antonio Spurs player rankings look?
Week 4 of San Antonio Spurs Basketball wrapped up on Saturday. The team finished with a 2-1 record for the week, bringing the season mark to 8-5. The wins were against the Los Angeles Clippers and Chicago Bulls, while the one loss was a home game versus the Milwaukee Bucks.
For the fourth straight week, Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker won’t be in the player rankings. They remain out with quad injuries, and neither has a definitive timetable for return.
With that said, let’s look at the player rankings for Week 4 and see if anything changed.
No. 10: Brandon Paul
After a quick start to his extended playing time, Brandon Paul’s play has been inconsistent. Some games featured him hitting multiple 3-pointers, while others were near blanks on the score sheet. That doesn’t mean his Spurs future isn’t bright, but the inevitable rookie struggles are hitting him.
In Week 4, Paul had two games of no scoring, playing a combined 21 minutes. However, in extra time (some of it garbage time in a blowout win over the Chicago Bulls), He had 15 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists on 6-for-9 shooting.
It was Paul’s second-best game of the season and should keep his minutes around the 10-15 minute mark. For now, he’ll play as the ninth or 10th man off the bench, with his spot in question after the team gets healthy.
No. 9: Manu Ginobili
Manu Ginobili already has three “DNP-Rest” marks this season, as head coach Gregg Popovich won’t play him on a back-to-back. That likely comes into play for Week 5, with the Silver and Black having games on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Due to this, Ginobili played in two of the three games in Week 4. He put up 6 points against the Los Angeles Clippers, while going off for 18 on 7-for-10 shooting in the Bucks game.
The 40-year-old’s role on the team has been established. Like last season, he’ll play between 18-25 minutes per game. spread the floor and provide an extra distributor on the court. It will be enough to keep him around this spot in the season’s player rankings.
Next: No. 8 and 7
No. 8: Bryn Forbes
After reentering the player rankings for Week 3, Bryn Forbes is back in Week 4. He didn’t put up 22-point performances, but had a consistent week and even received his first career start on Saturday, playing 34 minutes and scoring 13 points on 3-for-5 from 3-point range.
Forbes remains a quality role player off the bench for the Spurs, receiving time in every game this season (unless his brief spell in the opener doesn’t count). He brings outside shooting, hitting 11 of these in his past five games, and can spark any scoring run.
Until the team gets healthy, look for this output to continue, as the Michigan State product plays his way into the rotation.
No. 7: Patty Mills
After Patty Mills found his form against the Charlotte Hornets and Phoenix Suns, he’s failed to shoot above 33 percent in the three games since. The Bucks game saw him score 14 on 5-for-15 shooting, with four of those shots from behind the arc. Otherwise, the Aussie totaled 7 points in the other two Week 4 games.
Despite the shooting struggles, look for Mills to remain in the starting lineup. The Spurs are 4-2 with him in the lineup and Dejounte Murray off the bench. So, as long as San Antonio keeps this up, things should remain the same.
Next: No. 6 and 5
No. 6: Dejounte Murray
Dejounte Murray’s Week 4 was off to a poor start. He scored just 6 points against the Clippers, while never finding the hoop versus Milwaukee and playing a season-low nine minutes.
Against the Bulls, while partially in garbage time, Murray delivered his best statistical performance of the past few weeks, with 17 points on 6-for-12 shooting (two 3-pointers), 5 assists and 4 rebounds. It was a comeback performance for the second-year guard, who can use this ti build confidence for Week 5’s games and get into Popovich’s good graces again.
While a return to the starting rotation may not be on the horizon, Murray is locked into a rotation spot. How that changes, when Tony Parker returns, remains to be seen.
No. 5: Kyle Anderson
Kyle Anderson is hardly a flashy player but has performed admirably in his starting role. Week 4 saw him have a solid three-game stretch, posting double-digit points twice and a double-double against Milwaukee. He even had at least 4 assists in all three games.
“Slo Mo” will keep his starting spot, as long as Kawhi Leonard remains out and without a timetable to return. Given the 2017-18 season is nearly one month in, at this point, who knows how much longer this will last.
When the team returns to full strength, Anderson will have earned his spot in the rotation. Especially with the capability of doing a little bit of everything for the Spurs.
Next: No. 4 and 3
No. 4: Danny Green
Danny Green keeps his spot at No. 4, after having one terrific game, one bad game and one game he missed. This was against the Bulls due to injury.
The 24 points against the Clippers were a season-high for the 30-year-old, who hit four 3-pointers. He did this in just 28 minutes.
6 turnovers and 5 points highlighted Green’s struggles versus Milwaukee. However, it may have been due to his injury, as he missed the next game.
There’s no word on the UNC product’s status for Tuesday or Wednesday’s games at Dallas and Minnesota. If he plays, let’s see if he can get back on track.
No. 3: Pau Gasol
Pau Gasol played well in all three Week 4 games, filling up the stat sheet at points, rebounds, assists and showing off his 3-point range. He went 7-for-9 from beyond the arc, easily his best stretch of the early season.
Gasol also had his best game of the season against the Bulls. He posted 21 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists and 1 block in 27 minutes. Only one game has reached 30 minutes for the 37-year-old, who provides quality production in his 20-25 minutes of time per game, but that makes double-double performances less likely for him, as well.
As the Spanish star stays in rhythm, look for him to remain one of the top three or four scoring threats for the San Antonio Spurs. He should continue this against the Mavericks on Tuesday.
Next: No. 2 and 1
No. 2: Rudy Gay
Coming off a ruptured Achilles, Rudy Gay looks like his old self. He hasn’t lost his scoring touch, performing better as the season gets deeper. It’s with two 20-point performances over his last five games, all but one of which had him shoot above 45 percent.
Even in a sixth man role, Gay has settled in as the San Antonio Spurs’ No. 2 scorer. He’ll move to No. 3 when Kawhi Leonard returns, only deepening this squad against the NBA’s best teams.
There’s no sign of the 31-year-old slowing down, as he remains the focal point of the team’s second unit. Once the team gets healthy, it will be exciting to see what else he can do.
No. 1: LaMarcus Aldridge
For the fourth consecutive week, the No. 1 spot belongs to LaMarcus Aldridge. While Gay is the second unit’s focal point, Aldridge is the team’s focus on offense. He receives the most touches, puts up at 18 shots per game and fills up the stat sheet.
Week 4 saw the five-time All-Star put up another double-double, with 20 points and 12 rebounds against the Bucks. He had 14 and 7 in the Chicago game, although his minutes were limited, as the score ballooned after just one quarter.
The top spot belongs to Aldridge as long as Leonard doesn’t play. It’s due to the top-end production he’s put up, with a potential spot in the 2018 All-Star Game on the horizon.