5 Stats that show where the Spurs must improve next season
The San Antonio Spurs have played their last game of the season, and the pain fans felt from watching their beloved team lose game after game has come to a merciful end. If I could compare this season to one of the Fast & the Furious movies, it would be 2 Fast, 2 Furious. (Tokyo Drift does not count) But the beauty of residing at the bottom is you can only move up from there.
Lucky for the Spurs, they will have plenty of time in the offseason to improve. A myriad of areas require some focus, and while the skills that need buffing exceed the ones we will look at on this list, here are the top five stats that show what San Antonio must work on in preparation for next season.
1. Scoreboard Supremacy
The Silver and Black were 24th in the league in points per game. As an astute observer of the game of basketball, I have determined that winning games requires scoring more points than the other team. Therefore, ranking so low will not suffice. Despite Keldon Johnson averaging over 20 points and Devin Vassell coming close to 19, the Spurs have struggled to produce consistent offense. Hopefully, a top draft pick and some offseason improvements from the players the team retains can help cure this issue.
2. Larceny and Obstruction
I'm lumping steals and blocks together. After all, denying offense is denying offense. The Spurs ranked 25th in blocks and 20th in steals. The NBA is mostly a numbers game, and getting up more shots than your opponent increases your chances of putting more points on the board. Winning the possessions battle should be a central focus for the team.
3. Deadeye Efficiency
You may have noticed a recurring theme of the Spurs ranking in the 20s in several categories. San Antonio was 26th in three-point percentage and 27th in opponent three-point percentage, a real commitment to consistency. That is a significant reason any Spurs lead this season was less secure than a piñata at a child's birthday party. The team will continue to struggle until they improve these numbers.
4. Brick Accumulation
While steals and blocks are essential to robbing possessions, cleaning the glass is equally important. Hanging out at 23rd in the league in defensive rebounds is not limiting the opposition's chances to score so much as it is gifting them another opportunity to put the ball in the basket. The Spurs are not the tallest team in the NBA, but if they land Victor Wembanyama, the 7'4" phenom may assist in that struggle. Some good old-fashioned effort wouldn't hurt either.
5. Whistle Wielding
For a team that finished the season ranked 20th in three-point attempts, the Spurs do not draw a lot of fouls. Actually, they are one of the worst in the league in the fouls drawn category, coming in at 29th. (We love those 20s!) Earning more whistles from the officials leads to opponents in foul trouble, which can disrupt game plans. Plus, it gives the team free points at the charity stripe. That seems like a good thing to me.
I don't want to sound too negative here. There are things the Spurs did well. They were fifth in assists per game and seventh in offensive boards. Dominick Barlow also made his presence felt in the final weeks of the season, and perhaps more minutes from him next year could help some of what ailed San Antonio. This organization has shown an ability to put together a competitive roster that lasts decades, so I expect them to address their weaknesses, and so should you.