Defense vs Offense: Which is a Bigger Problem for the Spurs?

San Antonio Spurs Derrick White
San Antonio Spurs Derrick White / Nic Antaya/GettyImages
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San Antonio Spurs
Dejounte Murray, Derrick White, Lonnie Walker / Ronald Cortes/GettyImages

The San Antonio Spurs' Offensive Struggles

The Spurs' struggles on the offensive end are obvious; they rank 27th in 3-point attempts, 25th in made threes, and dead last in free throw attempts. With those types of numbers, it's not surprising that they're below league average, especially with how this team is constructed. 

For instance, last season, DeMar DeRozan led the team with 7 free throw attempts per game. With him gone, the Spurs simply don't get to the line. Combine that with their lack of 3-point shooting and it's nearly impossible to build a great offense in today's NBA. Fortunately, the Spurs rarely turn the ball over and also lead the NBA in field goal attempts and assists. 

That means that they're at least able to maximize each possession by getting a shot up. Additionally, despite a lack of 3-point attempts, they create plenty of high percentage 2-point shots for one another. Spurs guard Dejounte Murray has largely carried the offense, even leading the team in scoring and assists, but his supporting cast hasn't always helped carry the scoring load. 

Derrick White and Lonnie Walker are the two main culprits. While White provides play-making and excellent defense, his scoring has fallen short of expectations. He's averaging just 14.2 points, on 42.3% shooting after many Spurs fans expected him to lead the team in scoring.

As for Walker, he does just enough to keep fans from completely losing faith in him, but he's shooting just 39.4% from the field. Maybe they should. On the other hand, Jakob Poeltl has been on a scoring tear while Keldon Johnson has shot the lights out from three. Still, San Antonio either needs more offensive weapons or for the ones they have to play more consistently.

Now let's look at what's been going wrong with the Spurs on the defensive end.