Spurs fastbreak possession adds fuel to divisive point guard situation

San Antonio Spurs v Denver Nuggets
San Antonio Spurs v Denver Nuggets / Justin Tafoya/GettyImages

Nothing has been more controversial among Spurs fans this season than the nebulous point guard situation. From the moment Head Coach Gregg Popovich charged Jeremy Sochan with the responsibility of orchestrating the offense, social media erupted into a round-the-clock argument about whether he had the skills to transition into a brand-new position and how that would affect the development of everyone else on the roster, chiefly Victor Wembanyama.

The second-year forward has struggled to generate efficient looks for his teammates during his first month as a full-time facilitator, with opponents making a living off his lack of dribble penetration and scoring prowess. To be fair to Sochan, he has shown functional playmaking chops in a handful of matchups. Nonetheless, his shortcomings with the ball in his hands are apparent, and a fastbreak against the Denver Nuggets highlighted why he has stumbled early on.

Despite having a two-on-one advantage in the open floor with Wemby rim running for what should have been a simple alley-oop, Sochan kicked it to Tre Jones in the corner. The second-string floor general swiftly redirected the ball with a precise lob to Victor for an and-one finish. But the previous blunder almost cost San Antonio a guaranteed two points, and the glaring disparity in court vision and processing speed between them has become impossible to overlook.

Your run-of-the-mill table-setter will connect with their top scorer at least a few times every night. Sochan only has nine assists to Wembanyama, an undeniably alarming number since they have shared the hardwood for 319 minutes, the sixth-highest mark out of any two-player combination Coach Popovich has deployed this season. Though a 17-game sample size is still relatively small, the tape reinforces what the data already suggests, and it might be time for a change.

Have Popovich and his staff been wrong to stick to this experiment? No, it makes sense to stretch the boundaries of what your young players can do amid another rebuilding season. Sochan could reap genuine benefits from all these in-game reps as a primary ballhandler, and he doesn't have to be a permanent fixture at the one. With that in mind, it is vital to realize when something isn't panning out and switch course before it impacts the long-term synergy of the team.