After an optimistic start to kick off the season, the San Antonio Spurs have stumbled a bit. With three consecutive debilitating losses to the Toronto Raptors, Indiana Pacers, and New York Knicks, they will look to rebound against the Minnesota Timberwolves in their In-Season Tournament debut on Friday. Amid all the excitement of watching a team led by Victor Wembanyama, here are some adjustments this young ball club should make going forward.
1.) Reduce the defensive damage when Wemby rests
It has been incredible to witness the sheer talent and athleticism of Wembanyama, especially defensively. The impact he has on the game is undeniable. When the franchise player is on the court, the Spurs have a rock-solid defensive rating of 116.6. However, everything falls apart when he takes a seat, with that number skyrocketing to 128.1. To put things into perspective, that's even worse than the historically porous defense San Antonio registered last season.
San Antonio must have a reliable plan for when their standout rim protector is on the bench, as every team with a superstar faces this challenge. The Spurs seem to be able to maintain their offensive pace, which is crucial. Perhaps considering a shift in reserve rotations could be a viable way to compensate for the absence of their rookie sensation. A step up in production from someone like Charles Bassey or having Jeremy Sochan play more minutes with the second unit could help.