The San Antonio Spurs came away with a narrow victory over the Houston Rockets on Friday night after a challenging back-and-forth matchup that favored Houston early. Then Victor Wembanyama unleashed carnage on their in-state rivals, dominating the fourth quarter and overtime as he put the team on his back and notched 14 points, four rebounds, and three blocks over that stretch.
While Wembanyama was the main attraction of the contest, the rest of the roster deserves credit for their meaningful contributions to the victory. While there were moments of brilliance, there were also questionable decisions from the coaching staff that could have long-term consequences for this ball club. As we move forward into the season, these are the things fans should be on the lookout for.
1.) The Point Sochan experiment is a work in progress
The decision to start Jeremy Sochan at point guard has been controversial among Spurs fans. Most people regard Tre Jones as their best playmaker, but it was the sophomore forward who got the nod. This arrangement has led to mixed results on both ends of the floor. The defense has improved with this unit, which was a much-needed adjustment after San Antonio's historically terrible performance and effort last season.
While the defense has seen a welcomed improvement, the offense has left many conflicted. Sochan looks in his element in transition, passing with grace as he runs and guns at full speed. His ability is a but less clear in the half court, with the offense often swinging the ball from side to side and creating no advantages. There is hesitancy, forced jumpers, and open players ignored at their favorite spots.
You cannot overstate the impact Jones has on team performance. With his leadership on the court, the offense becomes more structured, allowing players like Wembanyama and Devin Vassell to score easy buckets. Despite being in the early stages of the season, these contrasts are impossible to miss. Now is the perfect time for Coach Popovich to test different lineups and rotations, and it will be fascinating to see how he adjusts.