Now in his third year with the San Antonio Spurs, sharpshooting guard Bryn Forbes is putting the league on notice after a breakout campaign.
Spectators continue to question San Antonio Spurs general manager R.C. Buford’s willfulness to include fan favorite shooting guard Danny Green in the DeMar DeRozan trade last summer. As a staple of the organization for years prior, Green is on the final year of a contract and will look to get paid this summer.
Green’s departure paved the way for undrafted shooting guard Bryn Forbes to step into his role. The 25-year-Old garnered high praise from his teammates, along with point guard Dejounte Murray, for his improved effort and spectacular scoring ability. As the Spurs flew under the radar, Forbes became the best kept secret for a fan base that took a while to instill trust in him.
In a culmination of his work, Forbes made his first-career start in the playoff against Denver on Saturday night and truly stepped up to the challenge. Forbes, who has endearingly been nicknamed Sparty by Spurs broadcaster Bill Land and the impassioned fanbase, finished the game with 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting from the field and 3-of-4 shooting from three-point land. He corralled five boards and played exceptional hard-nosed defense against Gary Harris, Jamal Murray and Monte Morris throughout the night.
The leap in effectiveness from the end of last season to now has been tremendous for San Antonio. Forbes’ reliable shooting, scrappy defense and unconditional effort have blossomed over his 82 regular season games. His long strides to the basket and surprising physicality make him a difficult matchup along the perimeter. After shooting 42.6 percent from three with a 56.8 percent EFG on the season, opponents are forced to step out against Forbes while remaining weary of his deadly fade-away jumper from the mid-range.
Before an elongated stint in the G League and Summer League for the Spurs as a rookie, Forbes was a scrawny shot creator with a questionable ceiling. By putting in the necessary work to become a legitimate starter, Forbes has become a respected bucket-getter in this league.
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During the regular season, Forbes ranked No. 8 in the league for starting guards in effective field goal percentage. He ranks among the likes of Stephen Curry, Kyrie Irving and JJ Redick in that regard which is very impressive company considering where he was in his progression last season.
The 2019 NBA Playoffs have only just begun, and Forbes needs to continue this efficient play through the rest of the season. Nerves, matchups and playoff experience will certainly come into play here, but there’s evidence to prove that Forbes has become more comfortable with additional playing time and increased comfortability as a starter.
After the All-Star break in February, Forbes increased his field goal percentage by 4.1 and shot 2.6 percent better from deep. Additionally, he took care of the ball better and lowered his turnovers per game from 1.1 to 0.6 per game.
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Forbes signed a two-year $6 million-dollar deal in the offseason to return to San Antonio, so the Spurs will retain him on a cheap salary through the end of next season. Now that he’s flourishing on the biggest stage, the rest of the league may catch notice of the young stud.