As the San Antonio Spurs Role Player Bracket Challenge rages on, you’ve narrowed it down to just four players in the Guards section of the tourney.
We’re continuing on with the San Antonio Spurs Role Player Bracket Challenge as you, the Spurs fanbase contributes to the fun by voting for your favorite role players in franchise history. To keep the trend going and add to the conversation, click here to vote for the last matchup of Round 2: the Centers!
Eight point guards are down to just four including two major upsets on the back end of the bracket. It’s clear that Spurs fans remain loyal to players who fought and clawed during their time with the team. San Antonio has been home to some truly incredible point guards since the franchise moved from Dallas to the Alamo City, including our biggest upset, No. 12 Cory Joseph.
Drafted 29th overall in the 2011 NBA Draft, the Canadian point guard spent his first four seasons learning from one of the great basketball minds of all-time in head coach Gregg Popovich. He played a grand total of 204 minutes for the team, averaging 5.2 points and 1.9 dimes in just-under 15 minutes per game in the silver and black.
Joseph’s on-court impact was minimal, but the thought of what he could become always enticed the fandom that voted him past a marginally more impactful player in Johnny Moore. One of the few players to have his jersey number (#00) retired by the franchise, Moore is San Antonio’s all-time leader in assist percentage (36.8%). He’s fifth in total assists and seventh in steals from his nine seasons with the organization but fell short by three-fifths of the votes.
Co-Jo was slotted to take over once franchise point guard Tony Parker took a step back, but that trajectory was changed when he left the team in the summer of 2015. The next offseason, San Antonio drafted the true floor general of the future: Defensive phenom Dejounte Murray, who cleaned up for the Spurs 80.7%-to-19.3%.
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Dejounte has been a fan favorite since he first donned the silver and black, combining a cutthroat defensive mindset with positive energy, a hard-working demeanor and a true embodiment of team culture. He dominated his matchup with Rod Strickland despite being an underdog and moves on to face one of his mentors: Aussie point guard Patty Mills.
We’ve lauded Mills for his varying roles and unwavering spirits as a sharpshooter off the bench. He’s in the midst of the best season of his career, averaging 11.7 points per game on a sky-high 55.7 percent effective field goal percentage. Patty took down another up-and-comer in combo guard Derrick White, whose popularity rises each year, as does his competence on the basketball court. If he continues the way he had been, White is going to rise in this stock sooner than later.
Last, but certainly not least, No. 1 seed Avery Johnson took care of business against sharpshooter Steve Kerr. His victory came by a margin of 54.6 percent of votes against a player who has experienced winning on every level. Even so, Johnson was absolutely necessary to the Spurs’ 1999 championship run and the transition between the end of David Robinson‘s run as top dog and the beginning of Tim Duncan‘s era.
Johnson and Joseph face-off next with the latter coming in as a significant underdog. Once votes are tallied for the Centers portion of our bracket, we’ll move on to the electrifying Sweet 16!