1. Dejounte Murray’s star turn
With former Spur DeMar DeRozan gone, there was a huge void to fill, and Dejounte Murray proved up to the challenge. During the first half of the season, Murray established himself as the team's best player by averaging an eye-popping 20.6 points, 8.4 rebounds, 9.3 assists, and 2.0 steals per game. As a result, he was selected to his first NBA All-Star team.
In the second half of the season, Murray upped his game even more by averaging a stellar 25.1 points, 8.2 rebounds, 8.8 assists, and 2.0 steals in 16 games. That dramatic improvement in play not only eclipses DeRozan’s production from last season but proves that Murray is very close to becoming a superstar.
That's huge for the Spurs going forward because he gives them a player to build around. Also, considering that he only averaged 15.7 points per game last season, it shows just how far he’s come in such a short amount of time and that his ceiling could be higher than anyone expected. That’s both encouraging and surprising.
Given the many pleasant surprises along the way, the 2021-22 season should be viewed as a success despite the Spurs missing the postseason.