What an eventful season for the San Antonio Spurs, who battled back from what was shaping up to be the worst year in decades to make the NBA Play-In Tournament. While the Spurs ultimately missed the playoffs for the third straight season, they made a lot of progress during the first year of a full rebuild.
This season was not without growing pains, but there were plenty of positive takeaways too, as well as some surprises. With the Spurs' season now over, now is the perfect time to take a look at the Spurs' three biggest surprises of the 2021-22 season.
3. Keldon Johnson’s 3-point shooting
It wasn't that long ago that Keldon Johnson’s shot was a major concern among Spurs fans. That obviously changed, but the struggle was definitely real. Actually, during the first ten games of the season, Johnson hit just three of his first 22 3-point attempts, and it appeared as though his shot was completely broken.
Fortunately, he quickly turned things around and went on to hit 39.8% of his 5.3 threes per game. That's a shocking turnaround and something that wasn't reasonably expected after such a poor start to the season. That improvement has been a crucial part of a larger evolution in Johnson’s game.
After the All-Star break, Johnson averaged a terrific 20.8 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 2.9 assists, showing that he could soon follow in teammate Dejounte Murray's footsteps by becoming an All-Star himself.
Had his shooting not come around after hitting just 13.6% from three to start the season, this dramatic improvement might not have been possible. Fortunately, it did, and that’s been a pleasant surprise.