Panic or Patience: 3 Troubling Spurs' Trends in 2022

Dejounte Murray, Jakob Poeltl
Dejounte Murray, Jakob Poeltl / Rob Carr/GettyImages
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San Antonio Spurs
Ja Morant, Devin Vassell, Keldon Johnson / Justin Ford/GettyImages

2. The Spurs are struggling with pick and roll defense

This is an issue the Spurs have had for quite a while now. As great of a coach Gregg Popovich is, he simply doesn't have the personnel to effectively guard the pick and roll for a full 48 minutes. As I highlighted after the blowout loss to Memphis recently, defending the pick and roll is the Spurs' biggest weakness.

With 17 games left in their season, San Antonio sits comfortably at third-worst in points allowed in the paint per game. So how is this happening when they have such an effective shot-blocker in Jakob Poeltl on the court for 29 minutes a night? Well, the biggest way is opponents forcing him to guard the perimeter.

Teams with stretch bigs and powerful driving guards are a nightmare matchup for San Antonio, which is why the Grizzlies, with guys like Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr, have now won five in a row in the series. Simply making Poeltl step out to the 3-point line opens the floor and allows parades to the basket all too often.

As I've said before, the biggest priority for San Antonio this offseason should be to find someone 6-10 or bigger who can protect the rim while also having the athleticism to recover on pick and rolls and switches. They have numerous ways to do that, including utilizing the draft, trades, and free agency. Until they address this glaring hole, this is definitely an area in which fans should panic.

Verdict: Panic