A return to the vaunted Gregg Popovich defenses
In a recent interview with Bryan Kalbrosky, Jeremy Sochan spoke of his excitement about the defensive promise of the 2023-24 Spurs: “I think it’s going to be scary… it’s going to be hard to score against us. We are long. We are pesky.” You could say that again, Jeremy! A frontcourt made up of Sochan, Wemby, and Zach Collins is straight-up nightmare fuel for any guard trying to get to the lane.
What a beautiful world it would be if the Spurs could put it all together on defense this year. After years of domination on that end of the court—D was the driving factor of San Antonio’s championship formula for two decades—it has been a down couple of seasons, to say the least.
ESPN’s John Hollinger has a defensive efficiency metric which tells much of the same story. Since 2018, the Spurs have finished in the bottom half of the league in the metric, all the way down to finishing 30th last season. But there is hope! It has sprung eternal since the Lottery Gods blessed San Antonio with Victor Wembanyama, and it continues in its potential to change the Spurs’ defensive fate.
The running belief about Vic’s transition to the NBA is that he may take his lumps on offense (as seen by his 2-of-13 shooting performance in his Summer League debut), but his defensive prowess will translate immediately. Expect quick improvement as capable wing defenders such as Vassell, Tre Jones, Jeremy Sochan, and more learn to play with a force like Wemby.
These potential X factors add to a long list of things that can and will make this coming season very exciting for any enjoyer of basketball, but especially for Spurs fans. If any of the above developments occur, look for a massive leap in performance from the Silver & Black this year.