Advanced stat shows Spurs genius plan coming together perfectly

San Antonio Spurs have been working on a return to greatness for years and an advanced stat shows they are laying the foundation for success.
Jeremy Sochan
Jeremy Sochan / Ronald Cortes/GettyImages

Coach Gregg Popovich is infamous for many things: his attention to detail, riffs with sideline reporters and love for wine, among them. He has evolved with the times throughout his career, never stubborn with a certain type of offense; if his personnel changes, the game plan changes. He is a multilayered individual, who's shown a willingness to change just about anything except one thing; defensive effort.

Fans have heard Coach Pop harp on the importance of defense since the very beginning of his tenure as head coach of the San Antonio Spurs. He does not just speak on defensive effort, though. He makes calculated choices to bring in players who have the potential to rise above the average defender. You need those guys if you desire a specific style of defense to be played. The newest player bearing that responsibility is Jeremy Sochan.

Sochan's development will be x-factor in new Spurs dynasty

There have been a lot of fans who believe that the Spurs should not make any big trades to push the ship along—that San Antonio should take its time rebuilding the franchise. But that time has passed. They have been accumulating assets and players for years now. With the addition of Victor Wembanyama, it is go time. He is already in debates about whether or not he is a top-20 player in the NBA today; next year, there will likely be no need to debate.

Jeremy has been a part of that plan all along. His ability to be the Swiss army knife on defense gives the Silver and Black the defensive versatility they need to deal with a myriad of situations they'll find themselves in once they start making the playoffs. The graphic above shows that few players in the league guard a wider range of positions and take on tougher assignments than the Baylor Bear alumni.

Devin Vassell, Tre Jones, Jeremy Sochan, and Keldon Johnson have already been professionals for years; they want to start winning. Though Johnson will likely be dealt with in the summer based on the rumors that have floated around the league all season, they're only in a position to do so because of their diligence.

The Polish Prince has already shown an unwavering desire to improve. His willingness to shoot one-handed free throws is proof. If you need more evidence, there is a video of Sochan already working with Spurs' coaches to rebuild his shooting mechanics. If he becomes a consistent scoring threat, he'll be the second-most important piece of San Antonio's reemergence. His versatility on both ends would demand it.