San Antonio Spurs News

Drew Eubanks making the most of expanded role with San Antonio Spurs

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLORIDA - AUGUST 02: San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich, right, speaks with Drew Eubanks during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Memphis Grizzlies at Visa Athletic Center. (Photo by Ashley Landis-Pool/Getty Images)
LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLORIDA - AUGUST 02: San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich, right, speaks with Drew Eubanks during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Memphis Grizzlies at Visa Athletic Center. (Photo by Ashley Landis-Pool/Getty Images)
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Drew Eubanks has come up big for the San Antonio Spurs in the pasts two games

This season restart has been all about changing things up for the San Antonio Spurs. A more driven organizational focus on player development and a few key injuries have pushed the Spurs into breaking the mold of who they had been for much of the regular season.

The young perimeter players are getting the lion’s share of the attention and they deserve it. Derrick White has been the teams best player through three games, Dejounte Murray continues to be a two-way menace, and Keldon Johnson and Lonnie Walker play with an energy that the team’s been missing in recent years.

But give second-year center Drew Eubanks his credit. The former Oregon State center has gotten a heavy dose of minutes after the past two games while Jakob Poeltl has been in foul trouble. He’s used the time to impress upon his teammates and the front office why he should stay as a part of the San Antonio Spurs going forward.

Drew Eubanks making a case for why Spurs should bring him with them full-time

After playing sparingly with the San Antonio Spurs over his first two years, Eubanks played the most minutes of his career against Memphis and followed that up with another near career-high in minutes against the 76ers. He’s spent most of his time in Austin but what we’ve seen from him recently has been eye-catching.

Eubanks doesn’t stretch the floor and isn’t too dynamic of a passer, he’s an old school, bruising center who makes his minutes count by playing hard and doing the little things that you want from a backup center.

He’s averaged 7 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 2 blocks per game over the past two games, with most of those points coming off of offensive rebounds or easy looks after being set up by his teammates. He’s often in the right place at the right time and has done a good job finding his way to easy put-back opportunities.

https://videos.nba.com/nba/pbp/media/2020/08/03/0021901254/33/fbdbbb50-1efb-e8f2-cbff-b801fa32c2ec_1280x720.mp4

One of Eubanks’s best skills is his ability to be on the floor late in games. He’s not a guy you’re ever going to set up a last-second look for but he’s got a soft touch around the rim and consistently knocks down his free-throws. He’s a career 79 percent free-throw shooter and has proven that he can be counted on at the line, unlike many other young centers.

Drew’s reliability and hard work ethic have already drawn recognition from his teammates, as Dejounte Murray told reporters. “He’s legit,” said Murray. “He keeps working on his game. He’s got a bright future.”

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Eubanks has done the most with his minutes so far. If keeps up the impressive performances he might just be able to convince the San Antonio Spurs to make him a permanent part of the rotation.

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