Thanksgiving is a time for reflection, Christmas is a season of giving, and New Year’s is all about self-betterment. The young San Antonio Spurs have plenty of ways to improve, so each player on the roster should have some idea of how they want to improve. This isn’t just limited to self-improvement on the court, but I write about basketball, not personal issues, so I’m sticking with on-court aspects.
I also tend to think that the best resolutions are changes that, in theory, could be instant. “I want to lose weight” takes a lot of effort over a period of time. “I want to exercise more” is easily attainable, and instantly, you can feel good about yourself. Last year, I wanted to read more. Now that I’m more well-read, I cannot think of a single thing to improve about myself, so I’m offering three solutions for the Spurs to get better.
As I said, all of these resolutions could be instantly achieved to a degree in theory. These are not changes that will take the offseason or several weeks to implement if the players focus on their goals. The Spurs have been playing solid basketball, or at least to the best of their abilities, so none of these are extreme or harsh.
Zach Collins needs to stay out of foul trouble
In 24 games, Zach Collins has fouled out four times. He has only played 30 minutes once this season, but per 36, he averages an insane 6.2 fouls, by far the most on the team.
Now, it’s true that he is an enforcer who plates physical basketball and has an in-your-face attitude. That’s one of the reasons why I really like watching him play. But he is simply unable to rack up big minutes because he is a liability to get ejected. He has committed 86 fouls at the time of writing this, by far the most on the team. He has played the eighth-most minutes.
Jakob Poeltl has a foul-to-block ratio of not quite 2:1. Collins’ is 4:1, and Bassey’s is also around 2:1. In crunch time, when the Spurs need a stop, there’s a reason why Collins doesn’t get to play.
My solution? Step outside of the restricted area and take a charge. He has no problem getting knocked down, but he has only drawn one charge. Why? Because he usually jumps with the ball handler. Sure, he might get put on a few posters, but that’s part of the game. Collins needs to get his defense under control because he’s a solid defender, just undisciplined.