San Antonio Spurs: Marco Belinelli’s first go-around
By Rob Wolkenbrod
With Marco Belinelli’s return to the San Antonio Spurs, let’s skim through his first go-around with the organization.
Marco Belinelli was among the two outside free-agent signings for the San Antonio Spurs, with Dante Cunningham as the other. Though, Belinelli’s arrival did not mark a new presence for the Silver and Black’s 2018-19 roster.
The Spurs signed Belinelli in 2013 to a multi-year deal, designed to make him a key piece off the bench. Though, the 2013-14 season featured 25 starts, due to injuries to Danny Green and Kahwi Leonard.
2013-14 arguably became Belinelli’s career year, as he surged from a low percentage guard with the Golden State Warriors, Toronto Raptors, New Orleans Hornets and Chicago Bulls to an efficient shooter from both mid-range and behind the arc; 11.4 points, 2.8 rebounds, 2.2 assists, a 48.5 percent mark from the field and 43 percent from three-point range.
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At this point in Belinelli’s career, the shooting numbers became his highest marks and stuck over the next five years.
Belinelli took a main contributor role in the 2014 playoffs, as well, which led to a series victory in the NBA Finals. He only averaged 5.4 points in 15.5 minutes but shot 42.1 percent from the outside.
2014-15 became a step back for Belinelli, who saw production in points, field goal shooting and three-point shooting slightly dip to 9.2 points, 42.3 and 37.4, respectively. All remained positive numbers as an effective bench piece, but injuries also came into play that caused him to miss 20 games.
After the season, Belinelli left for the Sacramento Kings and struggled to find similar success; the same with the Charlotte Hornets; there were positive steps with the Atlanta Hawks, but his Philadelphia 76ers numbers approached .500/.400/.900 and became the closest run to his first season in San Antonio.
Now, Belinelli is back and ready to rediscover his days under coach Gregg Popovich. What kind of production will the Spurs find three years later?