The San Antonio Spurs have come under scrutiny for continuing to start Jeremy Sochan at point guard despite the team slipping into a six-game losing streak that has seen them struggle on both ends of the court. No one has hesitated to put their two cents into the discussion surrounding this early experiment. And despite complaints from a frustrated fanbase, Gregg Popovich has stayed true to the course.
Sochan was one of the can-do-no-wrong darlings on the roster during his rookie season, but even some of his most staunch supporters have turned into ruthless critics. That sudden change of tune from the Silver and Black faithful has to be discouraging, especially with the added mental stress of plummeting in the standings. But the former Baylor Bear can hold his head higher after a teammate rushed to his defense.
During media availability following shootaround on Friday morning, Keldon Johnson reassured Spurs Nation that everyone on the team trusts Sochan to serve as their floor general. The fifth-year forward also went into detail about how the starting lineup bounces ideas off each other and how he is proud of Jeremy for embracing the challenges of learning the ins and outs of a brand-new position on the fly.
Though that sentiment from Johnson shows delightful solidarity among a reeling ball club, there is no denying the offense has been lackluster with Sochan setting the table. Opponents have outscored San Antonio by 20.5 points per 100 possessions when the Polish playmaker is on the floor, the fifth-worst mark out of the 282 players who have suited up for at least 15 minutes per game in the NBA this season.
San Antonio is still in the beginning stages of their rebuild and now is the perfect time to test out unorthodox lineups and innovative concepts. Will the coaching staff run into hitches during this research and development period? Of course, but all the migraines from their trial and error could be well worth it if the young core adds versatile skills that translate onto the court when the Spurs are ready to compete.