When the San Antonio Spurs decided to bring back Bryn Forbes for the 2022 season, there were reservations by many fans. After all, though he shot the ball well from 3-point range in his time in the Alamo City, his defensive shortcomings were on full display at the expense of minutes for guys like Lonnie Walker and Derrick White.
Still, the Spurs were terrible from the 3-point line last season and greatly improved their defense, two reasons he could work in San Antonio this time around. Unfortunately, that was far from the case early in the season.
Coming off a career-best 45.2% shooting mark from the outside last season, Forbes only made one of his first 10 attempts from downtown this year. The poor start was even more confusing when you look at how blisteringly hot he was in the preseason, where he made 13-of-27 for 48.1% of his threes taken.
All 10 of Bryn's outside attempts through four games were catch and shoots, which has historically been his most reliable shot. Last season, 54.% percent of his 3-point attempts came in the form of catch and shoots and he was accurate 46.3% of the time.
After having some good shooting nights against Dallas, Milwaukee, and Indiana to get back on track, Forbes then saw the floor for just 11 minutes against the Mavericks the second time around, scoring one bucket. Friday's three minutes and 14 seconds in Orlando was the fewest amount of time Forbes saw the floor all season.
Is Bryn Forbes headed for Gregg Popovich's doghouse?
I think it was understood between Coach Popovich and Forbes that his role would be dramatically reduced from the last time he was in San Antonio. After playing 25 minutes per game in the 2019-20 season, Forbes has only averaged 12.4 this season.
The game against the Lakers may have been more of a matchup issue than anything, but seeing Popovich give just three minutes to Bryn raised my eyebrow a bit. After he missed another three and had an ugly turnover, he was pulled much quicker than usual.
As I said earlier this month, there are certain players who need to be on a shorter leash than others this season, given the slim margin for error. Bryn was number one on the list, and Coach Popovich may feel the same way.
After averaging 14 minutes per game in the first seven, Bryn is down to half of that in the last two. Is this a result of Coach Popovich still tinkering with lineups? Or is this a temporary adjustment he's making without his starting center?
For whatever reason, Bryn's usually reliable jumper was off even when he was wide open so far this year. Even though he's gotten back on track with that, he still isn't getting enough looks to make his offense worth it when you consider his supbar defense.
It'll be interesting to see if Coach Popovich indeed keeps Forbes on a short leash when he sees him missing a defensive assignment, not hitting shots, or both. So far, he seems to be doing that much more than he did in the past.