Game 5: 134-122 loss @ Minnesota (Grade: 7/10)
Sochan: 12 pts (5-13, 2-6 from 3), 1 reb, 2 ast, 1 stl, 1 blk in 27 minutes
Jeremy Sochan came out firing from deep in this one, making his first career three to score the Spurs’ second basket. He made his second shortly after (scoring eight of the good guys’ first ten points). He was off on threes from then on, but the fact that he had the confidence to keep pulling is all that matters. His shooting and his ability in transition get him an 8 for OC. Speaking of coming out firing, Anthony Edwards had himself a game. While ANT’s three-point barrage wasn’t completely Sochan’s fault, I’ve got to knock his defensive consistency a bit (6).
Game 6: 129-124 win vs Chicago (Grade: 8.5/10)
Sochan: 13 pts (5-8, 2-4 from 3), 6 reb, 5 ast, 1 stl, 1 blk in 31 minutes
In terms of a complete game, this is Sochan’s magnum opus in this young season. He showed some of the passing chops that were in his bag in college, though he added 3 turnovers to those 5 assists. He went back to crashing the boards, played pretty good defense, and continued to look for opportunities from deep. Another silver lining for the Spurs (dampened a bit following his injury) is that fellow rookie Blake Wesley showed out in Devin Vassell’s absence. Back to Sochan, I’d give him an OC of 9 and a DC of 8.
It is important to remember that Jeremy Sochan is 19 years old. I understand that he was a lottery pick and San Antonio’s highest-taken player since Tim Duncan. There were high expectations coming in. But I’ll repeat it: he is nineteen. He has so much growing to do in all parts of his game, which is why the fact that he’s already a good defender is scary. There will be times—like the Philly game—where Pop prefers McDermott’s offensive ability or Isaiah Roby’s "veteran presence," especially when closing games.
One more time: Sochan was born in 2003!! The typical peak of NBA players is age 27-29, which is eight to ten years from now for Jeremy. I’m just glad that he ended up with one of the best development franchises in NBA history.