San Antonio Spurs News

San Antonio Spurs: The Davis Bertans experiment’s results so far

By Rob Wolkenbrod
SAN ANTONIO, TX - FEBRUARY 3: Davis Bertans #42 of the San Antonio Spurs is introduced prior to the game against the Utah Jazz on February 3, 2018 at the AT&T Center 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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photos by Mark Sobhani/NBAE via Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO, TX - FEBRUARY 3: Davis Bertans #42 of the San Antonio Spurs is introduced prior to the game against the Utah Jazz on February 3, 2018 at the AT&T Center 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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photos by Mark Sobhani/NBAE via Getty Images)
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The San Antonio Spurs are three games into the Davis Bertans experiment, as he has started all of them at center. How do the results look so far?

Over the past two weeks, the San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich has infused youth into the starting lineup. It started with Dejounte Murray replacing Tony Parker at point guard, the first full-time change made at this position in almost two decades. A second move did not receive as much recognition, however, when Davis Bertans replaced Pau Gasol at center.

For the past three games, it has been Bertans as the starter. So far, the Spurs are 1-2 since this change.

According to Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News, Popovich did not commit to this as a permanent arrangement:

“We’ll see,” Popovich said. “We’ll see who is healthy and who we’re playing and all that sort of thing, and make adjustments accordingly.”

Whether it sticks or not, there’s enough of a sample size to look at the Latvian big man’s starting production. Let’s look at the numbers:

  • Loss vs. Utah: 8 points on 2-for-7 shooting (2-for-5 on 3-pointers), 1 rebound and 1 assist in 19 minutes
  • Win vs. Phoenix: 9 points on 2-for-7 shooting (1-for-4 on 3-pointers), 6 rebounds and 2 assists
  • Loss vs. Warriors: 10 points on 4-for-7 shooting (1-for-4 on 3-pointers), 5 rebounds and 4 assists

Despite the numbers, Bertans still provides an option for the starting lineup to stretch the floor out, rather than go inside with Gasol and LaMarcus Aldridge on the court. It could be temporary, though, as the Spurs needed to try to get all of the outside shooting possible vs. Golden State and its smaller, offensively-powered lineup.

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How much longer will this experiment continue? There are two games left before the 10-day All-Star Break, when the coaching staff can evaluate its options at center and the direction to go in, whether it’s Bertans or Gasol. We will find out its next step on Monday vs. the Utah Jazz.

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