Last season's squad finished last in 3-point attempts and 24th in percentage, leading them to rank in the bottom 10 of all NBA offenses. As we mentioned once the Spurs' offseason concluded, this revamped roster should make shooting woes a thing of the past (even though that idea has taken a big hit in the last few weeks).
Nabbing McDermott in free agency was a move with the offensive side of the ball in mind, so that's where I'll start in assessing his first month in San Antonio.
Grading Doug McDermott's Offense
While McDermott's presence hasn't helped the Spurs in the attempts department so far, his accuracy is making a difference so far in San Antonio. Through 12 games played, he's hitting from downtown at a career-high pace for a season of 43.9%. He's also doing so on a career-high 4.8 attempts per game.
While the Spurs are still badly struggling to keep up with other teams in 3-point attempts (last in makes and 29th in attempts), their 34.1% accuracy has them sitting at 17th in the league through one-fifth of the season.
Beyond what he offers at the 3-point line, McDermott does an excellent job running without the ball and keeping defenses guessing in the starting unit. His average offensive speed of 5.31 miles per hour is the highest of anyone in the league who's played at least eight games.
Doug's cutting skills are particularly useful when sharing the court with passers like Dejounte Murray and Thaddeus Young, who are adept at finding him when he's open. When he's chased off the line at the arc, Doug's underrated driving ability helps him keep defenders on their toes as well.
Areas of improvement: When his shot isn't falling, Doug isn't showing up in many other offensive areas on the stat sheet. He could stand to start looking for drop-off passes in the midst of his drives or find other ways to contribute offensively.
When it comes to his shot, McDermott is doing well in every area of the floor but the 3-10 feet range. When he gets to that area, he's hitting just 29.2% of his shots.
Offensive Grade: A -
Grading Doug McDermott's Defense
The Spurs knew they weren't getting a defensive juggernaut when they signed McDermott, and all the data goes along with what we all knew -- he's not very good on that side of the court.
The eighth-year veteran currently has the lowest defensive box plus-minus of anyone on the team and the second-lowest defensive rating per 100 possessions.
Where McDermott struggles the most is simply staying in front of his man due to his limited lateral ability. While he speeds around the court on offense at 5.3 mph, his defensive speed is just 4.08. Because of that, opponents tend to exploit him by using switches to get him one-on-one and going right past him to the basket.
The good news is McDermott's defensive lapses don't seem to be for a lack of knowing the scheme or having mental errors -- he just simply isn't a 3-and-D type of guy. The Spurs can live with that if he can continue to shoot the ball well and Jakob Poeltl remains healthy to back him up in the paint.
Defensive Grade: C -
Overall, McDermott's first month in San Antonio has gone as well as expected. The biggest concern with him going forward is his recurring knee issue that caused him to miss fours games so far.
Beyond staying healthy, Doug needs to continue getting open and letting it fly from beyond the arc while attacking on occasion. He was brought in to boost the offense, and he's shown he's more than capable of doing so.
Overall Grade: B +