3 Encouraging trends from the Spurs' preseason victory over the Rockets

Houston Rockets v San Antonio Spurs
Houston Rockets v San Antonio Spurs / Ronald Cortes/GettyImages
2 of 3
Next Slide

2.) Devin Vassell is a man on a mission to secure MIP

Vassell's ascendence has been bubbling since the start of last season, and this preseason has done little to cool down expectations for his potential rise to stardom.

The fourth-year swingman has been simply incandescent from deep, and he even drained five three-pointers in last night's matchup against the Rockets, which fueled his 25 first-half points. The former Florida State standout has confidence in his outside stroke, rising from beyond the arc without a hint of hesitation whenever he gets the chance. His green light has him second in three-point percentage out of the 43 players who've averaged six or more three-point attempts per game this preseason.

Doubly encouraging is Vassell taking opportunities to attack the rim, which led to a couple of easy buckets and a handful of free throw attempts. His elevated activity on defense has been encouraging to watch. With that said, he and the rest of the team need to minimize their periodic lapses in concentration that lead to backdoor cuts or uncontested putbacks.

The 23-year-old must have an all-around campaign to place his name in the Most Improved Player conversation this season. He has already displayed undeniable signs of development, but he needs to show that he can leverage his outside game to open up driving lanes, draw more fouls, and build on the playmaking he flashed when healthy last year.