Undisputable proof that the Spurs are making significant strides

A recent stat shows the San Antonio Spurs have made a massive jump in a key area.
Dominick Barlow, Jaylen Brown
Dominick Barlow, Jaylen Brown / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages

During the San Antonio Spurs' season of few ups and lots of downs, you sometimes have to look for improvement with a magnifying glass. Even then, it is hard to see the trees moving if you're moving with them. Though being a fan is about getting emotionally invested in your team, when you're losing almost every single game, it is hard not to want wholesale changes to expedite the process.

There are subtle details of offense you want to see improvement on, like spacing or making the extra pass, for example, but there are things like shot-making that will have to come with more time.

Some of the players are just not good enough yet to put the ball in the hoop at a consistent rate, but that should improve as they grow their game. What needed to be better than it was initially was the defense, as the biggest parts of playing defense involve communication, attention to detail, and effort. Those things were lacking at the beginning of the season, reflecting in the numbers.

In the post above, you'll see the Spurs placed at the bottom of the league on defense and offense—something easy to spot as an observer no matter where your loyalties lie. The product on the floor was just abysmal, terrifyingly bad to watch with flashes of Wembanyama greatness. The game-watching experience left fans with extreme levels of excitement, bewilderment, and frustration. Yet as the NBA reaches its halfway point, San Antonio has made leaps on the defensive end.

Consider this: the Spurs have allowed 118 points per game this season as a whole, good for 25th in the league. One would think playing the number one team in the league, Boston, would result in more than 117 points, and though 117 is still a lot, it is better than what this team would have given up one month ago. We know this to be true since San Antonio played the Celtics at the Frost Bank Center on December 31st and surrendered 134 that night losing by 33 total points.

The insertion of Tre Jones into the starting unit, Jeremy Sochan's return to his natural position, and the decision to move Victor Wembanyama to center have all been instrumental parts of this growth on the defensive end. Coach Popovich and the players both deserve credit for beginning this trend of defensive improvement. Consistent effort will be the next step to maintaining this uptick. Considering Coach Pop's recent comments, he'll be sure to keep the team's feet to the fire.