While the San Antonio Spurs have been using this year to rebuild and develop their young guys, they've built a solid foundation in which to build.
There are several encouraging trends we've been seeing from the team, such as their assist numbers that have been leading the NBA for a majority of the season. They've also been firmly in the top 10 in points per game for most of the year, showing that they're capable of putting enough points up on the board even without a bonafide star.
Beyond some of those numbers, the Spurs' bench has held true to tradition by remaining one of the best in the game. Through 52 games played, they're currently averaging the most bench points out of anyone with 41.2 per. Last season, they finished tied for 6th in the category with 39.1.
A deeper look into the analytics shows the results are as you'd expect.
FanSided NBA Ranks Spurs as the 2nd-Best Second Unit
Our colleague at FanSided NBA examined the most effective benches in the Association recently by looking at on-court results when teams field their second unit onto the hardwood. In it, he revealed the San Antonio Spurs were a plus 15.0 points per 100 possessions through Monday's games.
The mark is second to only the New York Knicks, who are boasting a 16.7 point advantage per 100 possessions. Curiously, New York is only putting up 36.0 bench points per game, which has them tied with Oklahoma City for 13th.
It would be easy to argue that the Spurs' plus/minus numbers combined with their points per game should catapult them to number one, but I won't nitpick too much.
The bottom line is San Antonio has one of the most potent benches in the league any way you slice it, led by the emergence of Devin Vassell in his sophomore season. It'll be interesting to see how the debut of Zach Collins will shake up the lineup after he gets settled in as well, as he has the size and aggressiveness down low San Antonio has been missing all season.
While Lonnie Walker is still trying to work on his consistency, Joshua Primo's continued growth is perhaps the most intriguing storyline surrounding the Spurs in the second half of the season and beyond.
Whether they make moves in the next few days before the trade deadline or not, it's safe to say the Spurs' long-standing tradition of sending out stellar second units will remain for at least another year.