Johnson and Vassell need to decide who runs the team
Keldon Johnson and Devin Vassell don’t have a rivalry, seem to be friendly with each other, and play quite well together. However, the duo makes it very hard to discern exactly whose team the Spurs are. Johnson gets only 1.3 extra touches per game over Vassell and only two extra shots. On the other hand, Johnson also turns the ball over a lot more than Vassell. Vassell has developed into quite the ball-handler, so it confuses me why the offense seems to run through Johnson instead of Vassell.
Both shoot catch-and-shoot jump shots a lot; Johnson averages 5.9, Vassell with 5.6. However, Vassell is twice as likely to pull up off the dribble, which makes me think this should be Vassell’s team.
Next year, the Spurs will have a rookie, hopefully, running the show. Tre Jones will take a back seat as purely a facilitator, and Vassell will join the rookie as an isolation player. Johnson will be more of a catch-and-shoot specialist, with the potential to sell a pump fake and offer a poor man’s version of Bol Bol’s driving ability.
Entering the New Year, I would like to see Vassell get more chances to run the offense, and Johnson put the ball on the floor less and not have to pass out of shots as often as he does. All this will require is a team meeting, or maybe Johnson, Popovich, and Vassell can sit down over dinner and discuss the offensive scheme.