Spurs huge win over Warriors highlighted by unsung triumph

The San Antonio Spurs got the win versus the Golden State Warriors, but the coaching staff can take their own victory lap as Malaki Branham has turned a corner.

Gregg Popovich
Gregg Popovich / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

In the absence of key players Devin Vassell and Victor Wembanyama, the San Antonio Spurs orchestrated a stunning 126-113 victory over the Golden State Warriors. While the Warriors were without Steph Curry, the Spurs showcased resilience with their youthful roster, securing an impressive win against a team laden with veterans.

A significant contributor to this recent success has been the emergence of Malaki Branham, who found himself thrust into the starting lineup four games ago when Julian Champagnie was sidelined. While it was only for one game, it propelled Branham's impact, which has been nothing short of remarkable, especially in the latest triumph over the Warriors.

Malaki Branham's defense has led to more offense

Since the Pacers game, Branham has been a scoring machine, averaging 20.3 points per game with an impressive 52% shooting from the field and a scorching 58% from beyond the arc. His offensive prowess has been complemented by an improved focus on the defensive end, an aspect that Coach Popovich highly values.

"Greater physicality, more maturity, and understanding that defense has to be an important part of his focus, and he's done that." Popovich on Malaki Branham

Branham's commitment to defense has earned him increased playing time, allowing him to play more freely on the offensive side. The Ohio State standout has seamlessly integrated back into the rotation after having his minutes taken by Blake Wesley's emergence. He has been showcasing a natural flow to his game and letting the plays come to him.

This recent surge in Branham's performance bodes well for the Spurs as they navigate through a season with one of the youngest rosters in the league. If he maintains this level of play, Branham could secure a key role for San Antonio, either as a valuable spark plug off the bench or as a potential trade asset to strengthen the team's foundation for sustained success.

In a season filled with challenges, Branham's ascent stands out as a silver lining in the latter part of the season. He is offering Spurs fans a glimpse into a promising future for their dynamic young talent, which is another credit to the coaching and development staff of San Antonio.