The 2022-23 San Antonio Spurs were not expected to be good at all, but as the Spurs play their first truly bad season in over two decades, fans are still scratching their heads. As a fanbase, we aren't used to losing, and we have been coming to the sad realization that the roster simply lacks talent, plain and simple.
The Spurs may have a lot of potential, as Keldon Johnson and Devin Vassell are emerging as stars and Tre Jones and Jeremy Sochan are both young talents, but potential does not win games, and in this league, a team needs a star to be a true contender. The Spurs are without a legitimate star for perhaps the first time since before David Robinson was on the roster.
Are the Spurs facing more issues than just a lack of talent?
Is the lack of talent the only thing holding the team back? Or is the team yet to develop the chemistry a championship-caliber team must have? Usually, I don't condone box-score watching, but I can't say the Spurs pass the eye test.
Off the court, the Spurs seem to be a friendly young group who enjoy nights out together and bond as a unit, but on the court, they look unorganized and lack confidence. I did a deep dive into NBA rankings and found that the team is 5th in the league in turnovers, which is never a good look. Plus, their defense just isn't that good. Despite that, they try to make more passes than anyone.
The Spurs are fourth in assists, tenth in passes, third in potential assists, fifth in secondary assists, have the 15th best assist to turnover ratio, and Tre Jones makes 53.5 passes per game, good for 24th in the league. Jakob Poeltl is the only Spur in the top 50 aside from Jones, and Jones is ninth in the league in total assists.
The Spurs are obviously very eager to pass the ball and share the love, which suggests that team chemistry is actually very high. However, they might be a bit too eager to get rid of the ball. They are 25th in the league in points, yet sixth in field goals attempted. I think this suggests that the Spurs might pass a little too much and then have to rush bad shots, or get a little trigger happy when they fall into deficiets.
There are several things to worry about on this young team. Lack of talent, only having one true point guard, the uncontrollability of the draft lottery, and their total inability to win games. Team chemistry should be rather low on the radar, as the Spurs do try to work as a unit, even if it's not resulting in wins yet.