Lonnie Walker has not earned much playing time during his rookie season. Here’s why it’s time for the San Antonio Spurs to give him a shot.
The San Antonio Spurs drafted Lonnie Walker in the first round this offseason, but like many Spurs first round picks before him, he hasn’t seen the floor very often as a rookie.
The NBA has modernized. The days of lobbing the ball into Shaq or watching Tim Duncan command the paint are over.
The emphasis of the three-point shot and fast break offense has allowed NBA fans to see the marksmanship of Steph Curry and the rejuvenation of Mike D’Antoni and his “Seven Seconds or Less” offense that was way before it’s time during his Phoenix Suns tenure.
The city of San Antonio has surely breathed a sigh of relief as the injection of athletes like Derrick White or the reborn Rudy Gay has allowed the Spurs to keep up with the times with the other high-flyers and 3-point assassins that are now teaming up at an uncanny rate.
However, with a larger sample size of games for teams to scout against the Spurs, there has been a regression to mean for San Antonio, who now rank in the bottom ten in fast break points.
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Unfortunately, the Spurs often look like an offense from a decade ago with the slow pace and methodical game that has been fased out of today’s NBA.
Enter Lonnie Walker.
Walker is averaging 15 points per game in 27 minutes in the G-League. Even in his short time in a Spurs jersey, San Antonians saw the athleticism and neck-breaking speed that were the reasons many experts had him as high as a lottery pick in the 2018 NBA draft.
Walker’s youth, hunger and aggression towards making a name could be a catalyst in a Spurs offense that has lost games due to a sluggish and slow offense, especially when the schedule is not in their favor. We understand the rationale of wanting a young player, especially coming off an injury, to develop and get his legs underneath him.
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However, injuries and the carousel of rotating names makes this as good of a time as any to inject life and creativity, a la the Jonathan Simmons effect of 2 years ago.
Let Lonnie skywalk.
Let Lonnie be the component that balances out the Spurs’ vintage and methodical type of play that seems to be getting pushed out of a revolutionized NBA.