San Antonio Spurs News

San Antonio Spurs: Three players due for regression in 2018-19

SAN ANTONIO, TX - OCTOBER 7: Pau Gasol #16 of the San Antonio Spurs looks for room between PJ Tucker #17 of the Houston Rockets and teammate Eric Gordon #10 during a preseason game on October 7, 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. (Photo by Edward A. Ornelas/Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO, TX - OCTOBER 7: Pau Gasol #16 of the San Antonio Spurs looks for room between PJ Tucker #17 of the Houston Rockets and teammate Eric Gordon #10 during a preseason game on October 7, 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. (Photo by Edward A. Ornelas/Getty Images)
facebooktwitterreddit
SAN ANTONIO, TX – OCTOBER 7: Pau Gasol #16 of the San Antonio Spurs drives around Chris Paul #3 of the Houston Rockets during a preseason game on October 7, 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. (Photo by Edward A. Ornelas/Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO, TX – OCTOBER 7: Pau Gasol #16 of the San Antonio Spurs drives around Chris Paul #3 of the Houston Rockets during a preseason game on October 7, 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. (Photo by Edward A. Ornelas/Getty Images)

The San Antonio Spurs have some exciting young talent, but they also have a few players who may be due for some regression this season.

We took a look at the bright side of the San Antonio Spurs’ roster with three players that could be in for breakout years, but we also have to be honest and examine which players could disappoint this season.

San Antonio has collected a good mix of young and developing players to go along with some older veterans that have great knowledge of the game.

However, that knowledge of the game can only take you so far when you pass into your mid-30’s and your physical skills begin to wear down.

Without further ado, here are three players that could have rough years after playing well last season:

Next: Pau Gasol

SAN ANTONIO,TX – OCTOBER 5: Andre Drummond #0 of the Detroit Pistons talks with Pau Gasol #16 of the San Antonio Spurs after a preseason game on October 5, 2018 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. The Spurs won 117-93. 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. (Photo by Edward A. Ornelas/Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO,TX – OCTOBER 5: Andre Drummond #0 of the Detroit Pistons talks with Pau Gasol #16 of the San Antonio Spurs after a preseason game on October 5, 2018 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. The Spurs won 117-93. 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. (Photo by Edward A. Ornelas/Getty Images)

Pau Gasol

Pau Gasol has become a fan favorite ever since he joined the Spurs and for good reason.

I am not so concerned with his offensive game at age 38 because of his exceptional passing ability and his recent addition of a lethal three-point shot.

Pau’s regression will mainly come on the defensive end.

Gasol actually ranked very favorably in ESPN’s defensive real plus-minus metric ranking 11th among centers last year, and his defense has been a pleasant surprise after many thought he was washed up on that end of the floor during his time in Chicago.

Related Story. Pau Gasol makes his case for a starting spot

Pau’s defense wasn’t at that same level two years ago as he ranked 22nd among centers in defensive real plus-minus, and I’d expect that to be a more realistic expectation this season.

The arrival of Jakob Poeltl should cut into Pau’s minutes as the season wears on, which will have a negative effect on his numbers across the board.

Next: Marco Belinelli

SAN ANTONIO, TX – OCTOBER 7: Marco Belinelli #18 of the San Antonio Spurs handles the ball against the Houston Rockets during a pre-season game on October 7, 2018 at 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 (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO, TX – OCTOBER 7: Marco Belinelli #18 of the San Antonio Spurs handles the ball against the Houston Rockets during a pre-season game on October 7, 2018 at 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 (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

Marco Belinelli

Marco Belinelli is coming off of a strong season where he scored 13.6 points per game and hit 38.5% of his threes after being traded to Philadelphia at the deadline.

I think Belinelli is in a solid situation again this season as he reunites with the Spurs, but he’s historically been a streaky shooter (shot 30.6% from three in 2015-16) and it’s reasonable to expect his numbers to come down a bit.

Like Pau Gasol, Belinelli’s biggest concern is on the defensive end.

Despite playing on a strong defensive team in Philadelphia, Marco finished 60th among 72 guards in defensive real plus-minus.

Related Story. Spurs 2018-19 Player Previews: Marco Belinelli

At age 32 I don’t think Belinelli will suddenly become an above-average defender, but Pop could work his defensive magic once again.

Next: LaMarcus Aldridge

SAN ANTONIO, TX – OCTOBER 7: LaMarcus Aldridge #12 of the San Antonio Spurs handles the ball against the Houston Rockets on October 7, 2018 at 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 (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO, TX – OCTOBER 7: LaMarcus Aldridge #12 of the San Antonio Spurs handles the ball against the Houston Rockets on October 7, 2018 at 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 (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

LaMarcus Aldridge

More from Air Alamo

I think LaMarcus Aldridge could actually become a more efficient player this season with the possible addition of a three-point shot, but the arrival of DeMar DeRozan should bring down his raw numbers in general.

Last year, Aldridge enjoyed being the alpha dog on offense once again as Kawhi Leonard missed nearly the entire season and the Spurs didn’t have many other answers on that end of the floor.

Aldridge put in one of his best years as a pro, but he recently turned 33 years old and it’s reasonable to assume that his best years are behind him.

Like Gasol and Belinelli, his age may show itself more on the defensive end of the floor. Aldridge has been a much-improved defender since joining the Spurs, but I could see that performance regressing to his career norm which would be an average defender.

Want your voice heard? Join the Air Alamo team!

Write for us!

I’m still bullish on Aldridge this season, but don’t expect him to put up the same numbers that he did last year.

facebooktwitterreddit