These three players can give the San Antonio Spurs real problems in the bubble
For the longest time, the San Antonio Spurs were known as one of the preeminent defensive teams in the league. But the losses of Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green quickly revealed that the team’s defense wasn’t as solid as we had all hoped and they ended up with the 5th worst defensive rating in the league this year.
You can put a lot of the responsibility for the Spurs lackluster defense on the guys on the perimeter. Dejounte Murray and Derrick White are two of the best defensive guards in the league and Lonnie Walker shows promise but they can’t do it alone.
Conversely, the Spurs frontcourt saw some of the best defensive numbers of their careers. Both Jakob Poeltl and LaMarcus Aldridge posted some of the best defensive numbers of their careers, with the former rising to become one of the leagues most dangerous, albeit criminally underutilized, shot blockers.
Now, with Aldridge and Trey Lyles, Poeltl’s impact on defense is going to be even more important. The good news is that the Spurs coaching staff seems more inclined than ever to lean more on the young guys like White, Murray, and Walker. This could lead to a wider variety of lineups that should help improve the team’s overall defense.
Looping more guys into the perimeter rotation should help the Spurs on that end but their shallow frontcourt could end up being a real problem. There isn’t an intimidating defender outside of Poeltl in the group and that’s an issue.
With that in mind, here are the three players the Spurs will face over the next eight games who could give them problems.