4. Zach Collins Really Wants to be a Spur
Everyone says they want to be on their current team, except Ben Simmons. But how many of them are telling the truth? Zach Collins definitely is, and he needs to make his Spurs debut as soon as possible.
Collins has been battling foot injuries for the last year, but he was on his feet the entire game cheering on the team, even when they were down by double digits. He was involved in every huddle and was the first one yelling after a good play. I know it’s easy to be a good cheerleader, but I didn’t see Thaddeus Young, Jock Landale, or Bryn Forbes exuding that much energy.
Collins has never been a big-name player, but the Spurs need to drop the lackadaisical attitude they get sometimes. Some of them downright don’t look like they want to be playing basketball at times, so it’s refreshing to see someone ready to go at a moment’s notice. When he returns, he should be an explosion off the bench, ready to take on the entire league.
5. Derrick White is Playing Like Himself Again
A storyline we’ve been hearing all season is that Derrick White is not very good anymore. Looking at his stats, that would be true. His shooting is bad, his defense is good but not as great as expected, and there have been calls to move him to the second unit.
Well, he was their leading scorer last night with 19 points while shooting 8/17. His 3-pointers were not falling, but his two steals and blocks show why he was touted as one of the best defensive guards in the league earlier this season.
He was tasked with guarding Mikal Bridges, who had an off night with the pesky White by his side most of the game. White hit only one three tonight, but it was a big one to put the Spurs back in it with under two minutes to play. Sure, his shooting from deep needs work, but if he puts up the same numbers he did last night for the rest of the year, I won’t complain one bit. His last couple of games have shown he can do it all at an elite level aside from shoot.
It was a tough loss for the Spurs, but Tre Jones had a solid outing, Devin Vassell was consistent as usual, and Keita Bates-Diop looks like a good backup wing until Josh Primo is ready to go. It looks like Popovich is getting tired of Forbes, so he’s caught up to where the fanbase was in 2018.
There was very little boneheadedness, the loss can just be chalked up to running into a much better team, and there’s no shame in that.