Handing out leaguewide awards to the San Antonio Spurs
By Ty Jager
The San Antonio Spurs season has ended as they finished in 14th place in the Western Conference with a 22-60 record. While there won't be any Spurs up for major awards this offseason, that doesn't mean we can't give out some hardware. Let's look at some of the bright spots from this down season.
Rookie of the Year - Jeremy Sochan
There's no question about it, Jeremy Sochan is your Spurs Rookie of the Year. The 19-year-old had one of the most intriguing rookie seasons from a Spurs player in recent history. While the ninth overall pick struggled early on, he turned his season around with one hand, literally.
After starting the season shooting an abysmal 55% from the free throw line, Sochan changed to a one-handed shot midway through the season off the advice of coaches Gregg Popovich and Brett Brown. After debuting his new form on December 19th against Houston, the Polish forward drastically improved his free throw percentage to 78.4% over his final 32 games.
Jeremy Sochan showed amazing feats of development throughout the season, with stellar play whenever he was on the floor. Despite limited range, he was productive on offense, even running the point with some mild success.
Jeremy Sochan showed the Spurs why they made the right choice by picking him with their top pick and why everyone should be excited about his future.
Honorable Mention: Malaki Branham
It would be wrong not to give an honorable mention to Malaki Branham. After a few stints with Austin, some injuries, and the Josh Richardson trade, Branham started finding consistent minutes where he showed off his scoring chops. Scoring from all three levels, the rookie finished the season averaging 10.2 points and shooting 44% from the field. While Sochan is special, Branham isn't someone to ignore.