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4 Hot Takes from Spurs' Gutsy Effort Against Phoenix Suns

San Antonio Spurs Josh Primo
San Antonio Spurs Josh Primo / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages
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Devin Vassell / Carmen Mandato/GettyImages

4. Devin Vassell’s Slump is Not Affecting Other Areas of Play

After shooting 1/5 from three on Sunday, Devin Vassell is only shooting 30% from deep over the last six games. Considering he is expected to eventually become a 40% sharpshooter, the slump is worrying. His scoring has dipped to around 11 points a game but he is still receiving 25 minutes.

Clearly, Pop has faith he will turn it around, but for now, it’s best to ignore the shooting and close your eyes when he loads up an outside shot. 

On the other hand, during the same poor stretch, his rebounding has gone up slightly and his assist numbers have taken a huge leap, almost doubling. On the other end of the floor, he is a positive defense presence. His plus/minus over the last six games is -9, which doesn’t seem great until you realize the team has lost four of the last six.

Devin Vassell has halted his shooting development, which is a reason for fans to panic. However, he is showing marketed improvement nearly everywhere else, so another subpar game is not enough to lose hope. He’s only in year two and should be a starter, if not a star, for many, many years. 

The Spurs clearly missed Jakob Poeltl down low, as they lost the rebounding battle and allowed the Suns’ bigs some easy buckets. Booker had 28 points and could have been held to less had Derrick White played, and Chris Paul had free-range, popping off for 19 assists.

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Murray would have certainly held him to a more human number, but the health of the star players needs to come first. The Spurs were expected to lose by 13.5 points, so keeping ahead of Phoenix all game and only losing by five on the road to the best team in the league down their three best players was not a bad game at all, and there is always a reason for Spurs fans to be excited.

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