San Antonio Spurs: 3 Most dramatic changes from last season

San Antonio Spurs Gregg Popovich, Keldon Johnson, Dejounte Murray, Derrick White
San Antonio Spurs Gregg Popovich, Keldon Johnson, Dejounte Murray, Derrick White / Jonathan Daniel/GettyImages
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It's still not clear how the season is going to pan out for the 2022 San Antonio Spurs. Still, one thing has become clear: this team is very different from last year's.

Gone are the days of relying on one star-level player to make things happen, sometimes resulting in a bogged down offense and predictable plays. The new Spurs are pushing the pace, forcing turnovers, and focusing on growth as a team as they try to figure out how to close games.

With 17% of the season now in the books, San Antonio will need to start making a push as their starting center returns soon before they fall to far out of play-in contention. Building on some of their major improvements from last season will be a good way to start, while working on some early weaknesses would also go a long way.

Here are some numbers that stand out as dramatic shifts from last season's team that won 45.8% of its games.

San Antonio Spurs
San Antonio Spurs Dejounte Murray, Pascal Siakam / Julio Aguilar/GettyImages

1. Steals per game: 7.0 (22nd) to 9.1 (7th)

Through 14 games, the Spurs are firmly in the top 10 in the league in steals per game. A big reason for that is Dejounte Murray, who's averaging a career-high 2.1 steals per game, which is tied for 6th in the league.

Beyond the thievery of Murray, four different Spurs are averaging over one steal per game: Keldon Johnson (1.1), Derrick White (1.1), Devin Vassell (1.1), and Thaddeus Young (1.3).

San Antonio's ability to force turnovers while not committing many of their own has been a big reason they've remained competitive in just about every game despite coming up short in the end. Given how wide-open their offense is, they'll need to remain near the top of the NBA in forcing turnovers to generate enough points against the better teams.