Nobody thought the San Antonio Spurs would start the 2022-23 NBA season with so much vigor. But despite the odds against them, the squad has not lost any hope. Due to their hot start, a few fans changed their expectations for the team this season.
At the beginning of the 77th NBA season, I argued that Tre Jones should come off the bench for San Antonio. Two weeks have passed, and I admit I was wrong in my assessment. Jones has surprised me with his play on the court, making him the perfect starter for this year's Spurs.
I compared his stats from last season. Although it's still early in the year, I strongly feel he'll stay consistent throughout the season. His current numbers are close to what I had in mind when I gave my prediction on his 2022-23 figures.
For perspective, Jones posted averages of six points, 3.4 assists, and 0.6 steals last season. He was pretty efficient on the floor, knocking down 49% of his shots. The former second-round pick wasn't a reliable outside threat, though, making only 19% of his threes.
With Jones, the Spurs have wowed the league with their ball movement. He's their leader in assists per game, but not by much, with Devin Vassell trailing him closely. His passing is an aspect of his game that's been a prominent factor in the Spurs' fiery start.
Tre Jones is showing maturity through his game
Based on the eye test, the 6-foot-1 guard has played with confidence. Every time he steps on the floor, Jones looks to share the ball to get his teammates going. It's one of the sizeable reasons San Antonio is leading the league in assists. He's also looking a lot more comfortable shooting the ball as well. Tre is attempting more shots from deep compared to last season, with over two a game.
Through the Spurs' first nine games, Jones has proven he's the right starting lead guard for the team. Number 33 averages almost 30 minutes a game this year, allowing him to increase his production on the floor. The 22-year-old is averaging 12.9 points, 5.6 assists, and 1.3 steals. His efficiency on the floor isn't impressive, with 38%. Jones has improved his outside shot this season; he's shooting 43% from beyond the arc.
Three-point shooting was his weakness last season. It's notable to see Jones improve his reliability from downtown. Now, all he has to do is to stay consistent for 82 games, which could be a big ask.
Jones has developed positive chemistry with his teammates. During San Antonio's first two weeks, he's made plays showing us that awareness of where everyone is on the floor. I'm guessing that his three years with the Spurs have allowed him to get to know his teammates' spots on the court.
Overall Grade: B+
Jones has shown that his work over the summer has paid off. He's started the season proving his doubters wrong, including me. I look forward to his transformation into becoming a leader for the Spurs.