The San Antonio Spurs have had a shockingly poor start to the 2023–24 season with wildly inconsistent play. Early on, they managed to win two close games against the Phoenix Suns but have been blown out several times in their first dozen games, resulting in a league-worst point differential.
That has led to concerns that the Spurs' season might be quickly going off the rails. Compounding that concern is the play of number one pick Victor Wembanyama, who looks like a superstar in the team's wins and has mostly struggled in their losses. Inconsistency is to be expected from a rookie, though the Spurs could do things to help him get more consistent results.
That could be something as simple as a starting lineup change or pairing him with different players to take pressure off their future superstar. Or, it could involve more drastic changes with the goal of helping Wembanyama succeed while also taking the pressure off him. Next, we'll take a look at several adjustments Coach Gregg Popovich can make to help Wembanyama.
3.) More play calls for Wembanyama
Popovich has chosen to let Wembanyama get acclimated to the NBA without running much for him as he figures out how best to use him. That may be working against him since one of the Spurs' biggest issues thus far this season is their inconsistency in getting Wembanyama the ball. Some of that is due to several players not being able to throw entry passes to Wembanyama, while he also tends to get pushed off the block or fronted in the post.
With opposing teams making it harder for the Spurs to get their best player the ball, they should look to get more creative. One option is to run him off screens, much like the Spurs already do with Doug McDermott. That would free up Wembanyama for open shots on the perimeter and inside the arc.
While he is only shooting 31.3% from three, he has taken a lot of tough shots from outside, hurting his efficiency and possibly his confidence. Getting him easier shots should get him going earlier, helping him avoid those slow starts.
The Spurs could also use more cross screens where Zach Collins or Charles Bassey sets screens while he's in the post, allowing him to flash across the lane for an easy pass and finish. The goal is to free him up for several easy baskets to offset some of the more difficult shots he takes.