3.) The Spurs can't attack the paint with consistency
The Spurs are an intriguing team, blending speed and spacing in a way that can be a joy to watch. However, there are moments when the offense breaks down, leading to some unpalatable play. Though the Spurs have a handful of talented sharpshooters who can stretch the floor, their inability to collapse opposing defenses when attacking the paint can be a real hindrance to their efficiency.
Without someone who can consistently draw extra defenders, San Antonio routinely fails to create openings for their shooters. Defenders can stay home on the perimeter and play their man straight up, leading to contested three-point attempts. Apart from Wembanyama, the Spurs lack players who can make opponents pay when attacking the rim. Keldon Johnson may be the only exception, but his tunnel vision can be harmful.
Towards the end of the game, the Spurs focused more on getting Wembanyama the ball in the paint, which led to everyone plugging into their role more effectively. You could attribute the majority of their late-game emergence to this strategy. It remains to see how they will keep this approach going when their franchise cornerstone is on the sidelines.
San Antonio emerged victorious in a highly anticipated matchup against the Rockets despite facing challenging circumstances. Winning in spite of their imperfections is a promising sign for this young squad. These issues are fixable, and Pop is never afraid to make changes when needed. The Spurs have shown they can overcome their shortcomings and still come out looking impressive.