Surprise #2: Jakob Poeltl is a top 10 center
Jakob Poeltl has been one of the team's biggest surprises thus far and has emerged as one of the NBA's best centers. While he was already among the top 15 centers, his offensive improvement has cemented his status as one of the best players at his position.
Poeltl is averaging a terrific 13.9 points, 9.7 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 1.1 blocks per game while shooting 64.8% from the field. Furthermore, he is on pace to become the first Spur to average a double-double since Tim Duncan in the 2009-10 season.
In regard to his offensive improvement, much of his success has come out of the pick and roll, where he's developed into a highly effective roll man. Poeltl is among the league's best screen setters and with Murray setting him up, he's been able to use his excellent hands to catch and finish passes at a high rate.
Poeltl has also developed a reliable 5-foot floater, allowing him to finish when outside of the restricted area. Factor in his improved passing, dominance on the offensive glass, and defense, and Poeltl has proven himself to be a top 10 center in the NBA.
Surprise #3: The Spurs are better than expected on offense
10 games into the season, surprising trends have emerged in regard to team rankings. San Antonio currently ranks 20th on offense. Entering the season, many expected San Antonio to be near the bottom of the league on offense following the departures of Patty Mills, Dejounte Murray, and Rudy Gay.
However, while the Spurs are below league average, they actually rank better than last season's team and certainly aren't bad. This has been due in part to the team taking more threes and getting out in transition, where they are among the best in the NBA at scoring.
Additionally, the Spurs rank 2nd in field goal attempts per game. They're also creating extra possession by playing faster, limiting turnovers while forcing them, and crashing the offensive glass. All in all, San Antonio's offense has been a pleasant surprise, and while it hasn't always been pretty, it's at least sustainable.