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Which Spurs player surprised the most in the preseason?

Oscar Barkis
San Antonio Spurs
San Antonio Spurs / Ronald Cortes/GettyImages
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Preseason flashes seen from Roby

Anyway, this piece is about preseason surprises. I wouldn’t say that I was particularly surprised by Roby’s play, considering that I was high on his ability going back to his time with the Thunder. When he signed, my exact take was that I believed he could do everything that KBD adds, just better. It is nice to have had my priors confirmed, and I do think that his performance was a surprise to a lot of fans and some team officials (even Pop seemed to be somewhat amazed in the earlier clip).

Isaiah averaged a very solid 5.6 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 1.2 assists in just 14 minutes per game in the preseason (he added 1.4 “stocks”—steals + blocks, showcasing his defensive chops). He showed offensive and defensive positional versatility, proving he’s capable of guarding 1 thru 5 while also playing stretch big when Poeltl and Collins were off the court. The latter ability is one that I think we’ll see quite a bit in the regular season, especially in games that our centers miss. 

More importantly, he flashed some creativity and determination in his play that will be fun to watch develop throughout the season. I mentioned the “jack of all trades”-ness to his game; the ability to create for himself and others that he showcases in the following three clips only furthers his value to the Spurs:

With Spurs regular season basketball beginning this week against the Hornets, we’ll get to see if/how much Isaiah Roby’s preseason play carries over. Like I said earlier, Roby is still just 24. If he clicks with the team culture while providing the ability off the bench that he showed in preseason, he could stick long term in the Alamo City. 

This stat shows that the tank has been underway for two years. dark. Next

He does fit the team’s “tanking” timeline, after all.

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