San Antonio Spurs News

Spurs fans call for Coach Popovich to start Devin Vassell

Carmelo Anthony, Devin Vassell
Carmelo Anthony, Devin Vassell / Allen Berezovsky/GettyImages
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San Antonio Spurs fans want to see more Devin Vassell.

After yet another game of looking like one of the best players on the floor, Vassell has now jumped to fourth on the team in scoring at 12.8 points per game. He's also one of three guys currently shooting 40% or better from the 3-point line at 40.9%.

Devin's play against the Lakers on Sunday was one of a couple of bright spots for San Antonio, who let another game slip away in the closing minutes despite coming back from down 14 points. Shooting 4-of-7 from downtown, he scored 19 points and was on the court longer than anyone but Keldon Johnson and Dejounte Murray.

As the game was ending, many Spurs fans had seen enough.

Even The Athletic's John Hollinger took notice that the best Poeltl-less lineup involves Devin being on the floor.

At the time of his post, the Spurs had Vassell, Murray, Thaddeus Young, Doug McDermott, and Johnson on the floor. That lineup quickly cut a nine-point deficit to two with 2:39 left until the Lakers' vets proved too much.

Should Devin Vassell be a full-time starter?

There should be no doubts left that Vassell is more than ready for a starting role on the Spurs. The data suggests Gregg Popovich is well aware of this, as Vassell is already averaging more playing time than starter Doug McDermott (26.4 minutes to 25.3).

Devin has become a staple in the closing lineup for the Spurs, and while that hasn't been translating to wins, that's far from his fault. There's no question he's had a better start to the season than Derrick White, who's shooting a team-worst 38.1% from the field and has seen his points per game dip by nearly five.

Having only won four of their first 13 games, it's pretty clear to most that some kind of change needs to be made soon. The most common argument is that Vassell needs to start in place of White. I tend to agree this may need to be the case very soon, but it's also important to remember Jakob Poeltl has missed the last six games of the season.

Poeltl's presence is probably the most important to the Spurs' success besides Murray, and I have a hard time believing San Antonio would be in this big of an early hole with him in the starting lineup.

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I think Coach Popovich would like to see if Poeltl's return helps the usual starters get back on track, but if the Spurs continue to freefall, he may opt to make an adjustment. As long as he keeps Vassell on the court for big minutes as he's been doing, though, he won't be hearing too many complaints from me.

Still, it needs to be a real option if something doesn't change soon.

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