Losing Davis Bertans was always going to hurt the San Antonio Spurs but who knew we would miss him this much.
The saying “you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone” is one of the truest sentences ever said. It can apply to your favorite local hole in the wall, an old car you’re particularly fond of, or even a certain Latvian sharpshooter. Sometimes it just takes losing something to make you appreciate it even more. This season has made San Antonio Spurs fans appreciate and miss Davis Bertans more than ever.
The Spurs thought they had Marcus Morris signed, sealed, and on his way to San Antonio when they made the move to send Bertans to Washington. Obviously, things didn’t work out the way the Spurs would have hoped. Morris is now playing for the New York Knicks, Bertans is still with the Wizards, and the Spurs are left realizing just how much Bertans meant to the team.
This season has been one of inconsistency for San Antonio. From the contributions of their stars, rotations, and sustaining the effort for 48 minutes, the Spurs simply haven’t been the stable and consistent team we’ve become accustomed to seeing. However, one thing that has been a constant has been the Spurs struggles from deep.
San Antonio is near last in the league in both three-point shots attempted and three-point accuracy. We knew this was going to be a danger coming into the season. Many of the Spurs’ best players prefer to get their points at the rim or in the mid-range. That’s no different than last year. What is different is the Spurs’ best three-point shooter from a year ago is no longer with the team.
The low volume of three-point shots isn’t surprising to see, San Antonio was dead last in the league in three-point shots attempted per game last year. The Spurs were able to make up for that low volume thanks in part to Bertans’s incredible accuracy. He connected on 42.9 percent of his shots from deep last year, good enough for sixth in the league.
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You would have hoped that players like Bryn Forbes and Marco Belinelli would have stepped up to fill the void left by Bertans but so far there has been no such luck. So far Forbes is having the second-worst three-point shooting season of his career, connecting on a paltry 33 percent of his attempts.
Take a deep breath before continuing, this is about to get ugly. Belinelli isn’t stepping up either, he’s regressing hard. Marco is connecting on 18 percent of his three-point attempts. In fairness, that comes from a sample size of 22 shots but still, 18 percent is 18 percent.
The struggles of San Antonio’s snipers are made all the more painful by the scorching hot start Bertans has had to his first season with the Wizards. He’s putting up close to seven shots per game from behind the arc and is making half of them. Yeah, he’s shooting 50 percent from deep. That’s probably not sustainable but it hurts to see. He should be doing that in the Alamo City, not Washington.
On one hand, you have to be happy to see Davis thriving with his new team. He was a great member of the Spurs organization for three years and Spurs fans only want the best for him. But that doesn’t make the harsh reality that the Spurs face any less painful. The team desperately needs to improve their three-point shooting and one of the best deep threats in team history is going off in the Eastern Conference. You really, really hate to see it.
Hopefully, Forbes, Belinelli, and the rest of the Spurs shooters can improve their accuracy as the season goes on. One thing is certain though, Marcus Morris is going to be raucously booed in every game he plays in the AT&T Center for the rest of time.