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San Antonio Spurs: 3 Players who can help improve Spurs bench struggles

San Antonio Spurs Lonnie Walker (Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports)
San Antonio Spurs Lonnie Walker (Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports)
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Mar 10, 2021; Dallas, Texas, USA; San Antonio Spurs forward Luka Samanic (19) talks with Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) after the game at the
Mar 10, 2021; Dallas, Texas, USA; San Antonio Spurs forward Luka Samanic (19) talks with Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) after the game at the

Luka Samanic needs a larger role in the San Antonio Spurs rotation

We’ve been saying this since he was called up from the G-League to help add depth to the San Antonio Spurs roster but it’s time for Luka Samanic to have a larger role in the rotation. Between his performances in the G-League and his limited minutes with San Antonio he’s more than proved he’s ready.

Since he’s returned from the G-League bubble, Samanic has looked increasingly comfortable out on the court. The tentativeness that was there last is gone and on offense he’s done an excellent job of attacking the basket when he does have the ball and floating around, repositioning for better looks when he doesn’t.

More important than his offensive improvements are the changes he’s made on defense. He’s been much more engaged on that end of the floor and has held his own against All-Stars like Julius Randle when it’s been his turn.

When Samanic has been on the floor the Spurs have allowed 104.5 points per 100 possessions. That number increases to 111.1 when he sits. I’m not saying he’s the answer to the Spurs defensive issues in the second unit but Samanic has made an impact on defense when he’s had the opportunity. The advanced numbers say he can help, so why hasn’t he gotten his shot?

There is something to be said for paying your dues and we all know that Gregg Popovich tends to prefer to play veterans so this could be a continual point of frustration through the end of the season. If the playoffs truly become out of reach, then maybe we will see Samanic finally get the playing time we think he should.

Next. Best, worst, and likeliest scenario to end the season

As long as the San Antonio Spurs second unit continues to struggle, expect the Spurs to keep losing games. Turning to these three players could help right the ship and at the very least would be an investment in the Spurs future.

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