The San Antonio Spurs are falling on hard times. It was the second night of their first back-to-back this season, and they suffered a throttling on the road at the hands of the Indiana Pacers. When you have a young team, bad outings are bound to happen, and it will help fans process these games better if they remember that. With that said, there were certain things happening on the court that were difficult to watch.
The NBA season is young, with plenty of time to work on the details, but some of those details are from working themselves out. The fanbase has expressed dismay as they witness this squad stumble through inefficient offense and abysmal defensive stretches so long it makes San Pedro Road look like an airport landing strip. When the shortcomings stem from a lack of effort, that's a problem, but it was just one of many.
1.) The offense is suffering from the Sochan experiment
When Gregg Popovich confirmed his plan to experiment with Jeremy Sochan at point guard, everyone expected growing pains. He is a 20-year-old learning the most demanding position on the floor as he starts his second go-round in the NBA. Fans only hope Sochan will show improvement each time out, but the Polish Prince played his second-worst game of the early season. (That horrendous Clippers game remains unchallenged.)
The most significant advantage the Spurs should have while trotting out Sochan at point guard during the early portion of the experiment is defense. That advantage was nonexistent as the Pacers got whatever they wanted, like the spoiled grandson of an all-you-can-eat buffet owner. His shooting was inefficient, and he was routinely late initiating the offense, but overall, he looked uncomfortable.
We must remember he is a second-year player adjusting to a new role, playing on the road in a back-to-back with a big piece of the puzzle missing in Devin Vassell. It is way too early to pull the plug on the trial run of Point Sochan despite the tribulations that are sure to follow. The thing to keep an eye on is the defense. If the Spurs are not benefitting from the focal point of the decision, they may need to scrap the plan sooner rather than later.