The latest San Antonio Spurs player rankings for Week 5.
Week 5 saw the San Antonio Spurs play three games, winning two and losing one. This brought its record to 10-6, with Week 6’s slate starting on Monday, Nov. 20 against the Atlanta Hawks. It will be the Spurs’ only home game of the week, before heading to the road for matchups in Charlotte and New Orleans.
In Week 5, multiple Spurs delivered quality three-game performances, while others slipped in production. This impacted the latest player rankings, which entered its fifth edition.
So, before the Silver and Black enter Game 17, let’s look at how their players stand. Did anyone knock LaMarcus Aldridge from the No. 1 spot?
No. 10: Brandon Paul
There was always going to be a problem for Brandon Paul to gain consistent minutes. Even with players injured, he had to work against Manu Ginobili, Bryn Forbes and Danny Green for minutes. Forbes is Paul’s biggest competition, who looks to have the upper hand in the rotation.
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Aside from this, the Illinois product played a combined 16 minutes in Week 5. It’s not an indication of the player he is, given the quality production in extended time. However, unless there’s another injury or someone struggles mightily, it will be tough for him to secure a spot in the rotation.
No. 9: Manu Ginobili
For the first time this season, Manu Ginobili played both games of a back-to-back. In the first one against the Dallas Mavericks, he had 13 points in just 16 minutes, flashing the old version that everyone grew to love in the 2000’s. Of course, that won’t happen often but when it does, the bench gets sparked and adds an extra layer.
Ginobili was quiet in the other two games from Week 5. He combined for 10 points and 8 turnovers, ending the week on a sour note.
There’s obviously no threat to Ginobili’s playing time. As long as he doesn’t retire tomorrow, consistent playing time will be his.
Next: No. 8 and 7
No. 8: Bryn Forbes
After receiving his first career start to close Week 4, Bryn Forbes returned to the bench in Week 5. He played between nine and 21 minutes, topping out at 8 points against the Minnesota Timberwolves on 3-for-5 shooting (2-for-2 from 3-point range).
This is about what to expect from Forbes, as long as Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker remain injured. If Danny Green goes down, the second-year pro will receive more playing time. But, there’s a likelier chance of Leonard and Parker getting healthy, regulating him to a marginalized bench role.
No. 7: Dejounte Murray
Dejounte Murray dropped one spot in this week’s rankings. He started Week 5 well, with 10 points and 7 rebounds in 20 minutes against the Mavericks. After that, it was a quiet two games for the Washington product, who scored a combined 2 points on 1-for-9 shooting in 32 minutes. It represented the seesaw production of his sophomore games, which will come with trials and tribulations.
It will be like this for most of Murray’s season. He’s still just 21-years-old, with time to develop into a quality player, whether that’s a starter for the San Antonio Spurs or not. How will things shape up in Week 6?
Next: No. 6 and 5
No. 6: Patty Mills
Patty Mills slides up one spot, as his 2017-18 season production continues to rise. He put up 19 points, 4 steals, 3 rebounds and 2 assists against the Mavericks on 7-for-13 shooting. To follow that, the Aussie point guard put up 13 points and 5 assists on 4-for-10 shooting. It’s a far cry from his early-season numbers, which were conservative and didn’t make an impact.
Once Mills entered the starting lineup in the eighth game of the season, he settled into a groove — something that’s only continued over the past week. There’s little-to-no chance he relinquishes the starting job, at least until Parker returns. How Popovich chooses to sort that out will be interesting. For now, though, there’s no question of how the starting point guard is.
No. 5: Kyle Anderson
Kyle Anderson might be the least flashiest player in the NBA. Seriously. With how slow and methodical he plays, it takes about five minutes for him to drive to the basket. Well, not really, but it works and makes him look like the smoothest player on the floor.
This has been shown in Anderson’s extended, Leonard-less opportunity. He continued in Week 5, combining for 25 points and 16 rebounds through three games. At this point, you can’t expect double-digit performances from him every night, but to do the little things as a super glue guy for the San Antonio Spurs.
With no end in sight for the Claw’s return, the starting small forward job belongs to “Slo-Mo.” How will he perform in Week 6?
Next: No. 4 and 3
No. 4: Danny Green
After a slow start to Week 5, Danny Green delivered back-to-back double-digit point performances. He delivered 11 points on 4-for-8 shooting against the Timberwolves, while putting up 17 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals and 2 blocks in the comeback win over the Thunder.
Green continues to look like a different player from years past. He’s playing some of his best basketball ever, as noted by Pounding the Rock. The usual top-notch defensive play remains, while the offensive play has improved to driving to the basket and creating non-3-point jump shots.
Will this stick when the Spurs get healthy? If so, it’s just the latest dimension to what could be a better offense after the quarter mark of the season passes.
No. 3: Rudy Gay
Rudy Gay was a terrific sixth man for the first four weeks of the season. That perception shouldn’t change for future weeks, but he delivered his worst week of this campaign for the San Antonio Spurs. In three games, the 11-year pro didn’t top 9 points and played at least 20 minutes in just one appearance.
Gay’s Thunder performance was efficient, however, with 9 points on 4-for-8 shooting in 18 minutes. That could help him trend up in Week 6, potentially playing the 20-plus minutes per game he received for most of the season’s first four weeks. If Popovich continues to cut the UConn product’s minutes, then we’ll see what transpires.
Next: No. 2 and 1
No. 2: Pau Gasol
Pau Gasol takes over the No. 2 spot in the player rankings. After four double-digit point performances in the last six games, the 37-year-old has taken over the No. 2 scoring role from Rudy Gay — for the time being. It’s even as the NBA gets smaller, while the San Antonio Spurs continue to use traditional lineups.
Gasol developed consistent minutes in November, ranging between 23-28 minutes per game. Rather than watching his court time decline, like it did in the first four matchups of the season.
Even with this, Gasol has averaged a career-low in points (10.7). Once the Spurs get healthy, it will decline, but by how much?
No. 1: LaMarcus Aldridge
For the fifth straight weeks, LaMarcus Aldridge remains in the No. 1 spot. That won’t change until Leonard returns, since the five-time All-Star is the team’s top scoring option by a landslide. He’s averaged 22.3 points per game, while the next best number on the Spurs is 11.8.
Week 5 saw Aldridge top deliver his best points performance of the season, hitting 32 against the Mavericks on 12-for-21 shooting. A double-double against Minnesota followed, while 26 points and 9 rebounds closed his week versus the Thunder.
The Spurs player rankings will return on Monday, Nov. 27 for Week 6.