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San Antonio Spurs: Will Bryn Forbes’ rotation security remain?

By Rob Wolkenbrod
MIAMI, FL - OCTOBER 25: Bryn Forbes #11 of the San Antonio Spurs handles 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: Bryn Forbes #11 of the San Antonio Spurs handles 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)
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Bryn Forbes’ stock trended up through the first quarter of the season. Will it mean anything when the San Antonio Spurs get healthy?

It was evident in the 2017 Summer League that Bryn Forbes possessed upside. He performed admirably for this version of the San Antonio Spurs, putting up multiple 30-point games and consistently finding his stroke from behind the arc.

As for the 2017-18 regular season, there wasn’t a clear-cut spot for Forbes in the rotation, at least in the long term. Tony Parker missed the first quarter of the season, while Kawhi Leonard has yet to play. Couple that with Manu Ginobili‘s rest on off days, and it allowed the Michigan State product to find the court.

Forbes already reached two-thirds of his games-played total from 2016-17, appearing in all 24 contests. He’s averaged career-highs in points (6.1), rebounds (1.3), field goal percentage (42.5), 3-point percentage (40) and minutes (16.1). It’s happened during consistent playing time, ever since a 2-for-4 game from long distance for 8 points vs. the Boston Celtics.

In between this game and Monday’s matchup vs. the Detroit Pistons, Forbes topped double-digits four times, while hitting at least two 3-pointers in nine games and playing fewer than 10 minutes just once.

Put it together, and Forbes has established himself as a role-playing scorer off the bench. Similar to Gary Neal‘s old role in the early 2010’s.

Said this about current Spurs guard Bryn Forbes a while back pic.twitter.com/VjZlw6clgM

— Alex Kaufman (@NSF_Alex) November 23, 2017

Will any of this give the 24-year-old rotation security? With Leonard closing in on his return and Kyle Anderson‘s two-to-three-week timetable, the bench may be clogged. But, with Brandon Paul‘s minutes having dwindled and someone needed for Ginobili’s potential rest games on back-to-backs, it should mean Forbes keeps his spot. It may not be the seventh or eighth man, but closer to the ninth or 10th player. That’s along with a decline from the 13-22 minutes per game he’s played since the end of October.

A lesser spot in the rotation shouldn’t return Forbes to his old numbers from limited playing time (2.6 points on 36.4 percent shooting). Nor should it lead to just 7 minutes per game. However, to keep any of this up, he can’t afford to go multiple games with poor 3-point shooting performances. Much like the past two contests, finding just one make on seven attempts in over 45 minutes (32:34 vs. the Oklahoma City Thunder).

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Will Forbes keep his rotation spot when the Spurs get healthy? We may find out relatively soon. Especially if Leonard gets back by Wednesday or Friday. The same with Anderson’s potential pre-2018 return. Let’s see what develops.

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