Now in his 13th season, San Antonio Spurs small forward Rudy Gay has put together an impressive body of work, but just how good can he be this season?
In his season debut against the Minnesota Timberwolves, starting wing Rudy Gay put up a crucial 18 points on 8-of-12 shooting. He also tacked on seven rebounds and hit his only shot from behind the arc.
It was a very impressive outing from Gay, but it’s left some lingering questions on his season outlook. The first and most pressing question is ‘Can he sustain this over the course of an 82-game season and playoff run?’
Rudy Gay putting up a really solid night. Looks like he’s got an extra bounce in his step this year as his Achilles gets healthier
— Air Alamo (@AirAlamo) October 18, 2018
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During the 30 games he played in his final season in Sacramento, Gay averaged 18.7 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.5 steals in 33.8 minutes per contest. Since this is the healthiest he’s been since that point in time, Gay may be ready to return to form and become the bonafide third option for head coach Gregg Popovich.
As he’s matured, Gay has done an excellent job of improving his consistency as a three-point shooter. Last season must be treated as an outlier, as Gay not only came off of an achilles injury, but also battled subsequent heel injuries over the course of the year. The first season back from a major injury often brings a dip in production for recovering players. Many spectators equated this to his integration with the Spurs’ offense, but that may not be the case.
Gay is well-suited to run the Spurs’ play style. He’s a versatile player with noteworthy ball handling skills, a solid three-point shot and a wide array of moves that open up layups and dunks. There’s a chance that this season brings about the resurgence of Rudy Gay.
In his first season as a Spur, Gay averaged his lowest points per game since his rookie season at 11.5 per game. He’s back to playing alongside his pal DeMar DeRozan and is sharing the frontcourt with All Star LaMarcus Aldridge, whose presence alone opens up the floor for teammates. Through preseason and the season opener, it’s evident that Gay regained some of his bounce after an offseason of hard work and training.
There’s a good chance that Gay finishes the season averaging a stat line of 16 points, six rebounds and a steal per game, which is exactly what the team needs from their complimentary third scoring-option.
If Gay is healthy and performing this way throughout the season, the Spurs will coast back to the playoffs and could contend for home court advantage in the first round.