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  1. #201
    Veteran Sugus's Avatar
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    By the way, he had a total of 80 FGs in December so that 29 3PA is over a third of his shot attempts before people think he doesn’t shoot enough 3’s. That’s over 34% of his shots, meaning every 1 of 3 shot attempts, he shoots a 3.

    tagging my guy Sugus so that he may someday be a believer
    I was trying to figure out whether you were dissing me with that vague "a certain idiot here" comment earlier, glad to see it's not the case

    It's been an interesting couple games, tbh. I've been watching Dejounte closer since we had that convo regarding him, and he definitely looks much better in many areas as opposed to last season. I don't know if I'm fully sold on it yet (mainly because we need to see if he can keep up the improved play, and most of all shooting, over a long period of time), but it's definitely piqued me.

    But on an overarching theme, beyond just DJ... I'm a bit torn regarding the Spurs' situation. On the one hand, it's plain to see that they lack a true #1 talent, the kind of player you tank for (and the Spurs sure started out the season looking like they were gonna go for it), but on the other hand, they look much too competent to truly be in play for that kind of talent with the way they've been playing now. Everyone's gelling, multiple players (Dejounte, Vassell, Poeltl, etc) have stepped up and are bringing wins to the team, and I keep asking myself if it's really the right path, the right timeline for the team to be on. And at its core, this question is what birthed my desire to trade DJ initially - not the assets per se, I could care less about them, but the definitive "timeline reset" that shipping out your best player signals. An objective "white flag" waiving of sorts, "let's tank a couple seasons then regroup" kind of thing, which a part of me really believes the Spurs need, in order to get the necessary talent to one day be true contenders.

    In that exchange (btw, I didn't get back to you because I got burnt out talking bad about DJ when I like him as a player, overall; I don't care for trading him nearly as much as that discussion required energy to make my points), you pointed out that DJ is already a better talent than what we could get with the picks that we'd get in a trade for him (that was a complicated sentence!). While I see your point, I tend to think that Dejounte looks like a "Manu Ginobili" to me, while the Spurs lack a true Tim Duncan, you know? In this vein, I can't stop thinking of the Spurs getting "misguided" into thinking that they can build a contender around DJ & Co, and never giving themselves the opportunity to acquire a Duncan-level talent (which certainly isn't coming to them via FA, Ayton is an absolute pipedream and we all know it).

    So, yeah, that's my current view on it. I don't really want to trade DJ.... As long as the Spurs can recognize he's not going to be the #1 championship-level piece that they need, and that they need to keep searching for it, preferably by stealth-tanking (which was looking great at the start of this season, these last couple of wins have sorta derailed that L-train ).

  2. #202
    Veteran rjv's Avatar
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    it's been said that "players don't tank; organizations do" and this current roster has no interest in tanking.

  3. #203
    Veteran Sugus's Avatar
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    This is what turned me into a believer. He has reached the stage where he is now taking stupid 3 pointers. That's fantastic progress bc last year he wouldn't even shoot wide open ones. I said in the Simmons thread that DJ had been on fire from the 3 point line in recent games. He has also upped his attempts like you said. This is HUGE for his progress bc it opens up the entire court to him. His development this season has been amazing. he is a totally different player right now than he was in Oct.
    I'd love for some reporter to ask him about his 3-point shooting increase (if they haven't already). It surely wasn't casual/random, and as you say, it turns him into a completely different player. The defense has to guard him entirely different on the PnR if they can't just freely go under screens without being scared that he'll make the open 3 (which was a point of much critique for me of his game last season), it opens up the whole lane and also gives the roller more room to roll and get the pass on.

    I'm hoping it's not a fluke, and he sure plays like it isn't. I love the confidence in his shot - just remains to see whether he'll keep it up when/if the shots start not to fall, or if he'll go to the White "sulk and stop looking for shots" routine.

  4. #204
    Veteran Dejounte's Avatar
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    That wasn’t directed towards you, Sugus . I know you’re a smart guy and you think things through, even if it takes a little while nah, of course we’ll have our disagreements about certain things. We’re human, after all. It’s only important to be open-minded and honest—not throwing fake news out there as a result of poor research… I despise it when people do that.

  5. #205
    Veteran Dejounte's Avatar
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    I also don’t believe the Spurs are viewing DJ as a #1 championship level piece. If you read between the lines in Pop’s quotes to the media all season, he did not crown DJ as a leader or go-to guy for many games until he started to earn it. Also, Pop has been subtly saying this team is not talented enough by saying “they’re doing their best” or “they’re learning”. If all these quotes are any indication, PATFO are not having any delusions about standing pat and not adding more talent—if anything, it’s the fans who don’t understand that most teams don’t get generational talent through trades, it’s been always through the draft. And on that point, I don’t think it HAS to be a top 5 pick. My favorite player right now is Jokic and he was far from that. Steph Curry was #7. Kawhi Leonard was #15. The team doesn’t have to bottom out to get that special talent.

  6. #206
    Unstoppable TDomination's Avatar
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    Especially when the talents coming out now are still developing. They are all 18, 19, 20 yrs old and are still growing into their game. So really the top pick that is made is for the player that is playing better at that moment of the draft, where the lower picks could easily have better careers but it just took them a year or 2 to get it all together.

  7. #207
    Veteran Chomag's Avatar
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    DJ has made me eat allot of crow this year, I always saw him as very mechanical however he is showing that he really is learning the game and how to make it flow.

    Its so boggling how good this team could be if they had at least 1 legit franchise type of player playing with these guys right now.

  8. #208
    Veteran Sugus's Avatar
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    That wasn’t directed towards you, Sugus . I know you’re a smart guy and you think things through, even if it takes a little while nah, of course we’ll have our disagreements about certain things. We’re human, after all. It’s only important to be open-minded and honest—not throwing fake news out there as a result of poor research… I despise it when people do that.
    And that's why you're my guy, my guy

    I also don’t believe the Spurs are viewing DJ as a #1 championship level piece. If you read between the lines in Pop’s quotes to the media all season, he did not crown DJ as a leader or go-to guy for many games until he started to earn it. Also, Pop has been subtly saying this team is not talented enough by saying “they’re doing their best” or “they’re learning”. If all these quotes are any indication, PATFO are not having any delusions about standing pat and not adding more talent—if anything, it’s the fans who don’t understand that most teams don’t get generational talent through trades, it’s been always through the draft. And on that point, I don’t think it HAS to be a top 5 pick. My favorite player right now is Jokic and he was far from that. Steph Curry was #7. Kawhi Leonard was #15. The team doesn’t have to bottom out to get that special talent.
    I really hope you're right on this. I haven't been keeping up with Pop's quotes really, but from the little I gathered you're right, there hasn't been a lot of talk about leaders and all. But at the same time... I also haven't heard Pop too displeased with the "talent level" of the group (though obviously that's not something Pop would ever say outright to the media), nor the losing, he just says like you said, "they're learning" and all that jazz. But is it really enough for them to be learning? That's my constant personal question... There's a level of inherent, natural, born-with talent that simply cannot be taught, nor learned. Call it hand-eye coordination like Curry, or explosive athleticism (which I agree with you, is overrated, but still is a talent measure), or whatever; I really wonder whether any one of the Spurs can truly "learn their way" into being a championship-level piece.

    And if they don't... I don't know, I just don't see Pop and the (current) FO outright tanking. rjv said it best, it's the FO/coaching that causes a tank, and not the players - and I don't really see the FO having any interest in that kind of thing; matter-of-fact, I'm pretty sure they'd be much happier to see short-term success (say, reaching the playoffs as an #8 seed this season or next) that doesn't translate to long-term success, simply because of the lost revenue from all these COVID-ridden seasons. Can we truly say the FO acknowledges some form of tanking is necessary? You're more optimistic there than I am, for sure...

    Lastly, of course top-end talent doesn't always lie at the top of the draft. But at the end of the day, it's a numbers game - how many years did the Warriors suck before lucking into Curry? Or the Nuggets (who were nothing after Melo left) before Jokic? How many years had MWK missed the POs before lucking into Giannis? At the end of the day, that sort of "draft steals" are mostly "lucking into"... And usually mean you have to have many attempts before you get it right. As much as I'd love to think the Spurs will get another #10 pick this year, and that #10 pick will be the steal of the draft and the franchise cornerstone that lifts the Spurs into contention -- it seems awfully unrealistic.

    At the end of the day, I'm enjoying the uncertainty of this season. Both the results, and the team itself, is miles better to watch than last season, and that's all I was asking for before the season began. So I'm happy right now, outcome of the season be damned, to watch the boys grow and gel together.

  9. #209
    Veteran Sugus's Avatar
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    Especially when the talents coming out now are still developing. They are all 18, 19, 20 yrs old and are still growing into their game. So really the top pick that is made is for the player that is playing better at that moment of the draft, where the lower picks could easily have better careers but it just took them a year or 2 to get it all together.
    Yeah, this is true too, we're looking at maybe the youngest overall Spurs team in 20+ years. It's another reason why, no matter how he plays, I'm not in any urge to trade away DJ or whomever - we've got plenty of time to see how Dejounte, Vassell, even Lonnie, develop, before we begin to be forced into roster decisions.

    In that regard, I'm much enjoying this expectations-less season, as opposed to the last 3-4 seasons, where it was always Playoffs or bust with LMA/DDR core, and even when we got there, there wasn't any real hope of contention, beyond giving some #1 seed trouble in the first round.

  10. #210
    Veteran Sugus's Avatar
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    Yup, 3PAr (% of FG attempts that are threes) is the important thing imo. Murray is at 0.239 for the season which doesn't cut it in today's NBA (league average is 0.402 and the Spurs' last-place average is 0.317), but 29/80 is 0.363 which is much closer to where he needs to be. Good catch on those stats.

    It also shows that his Oct/Nov 3PAr was dismally low: 0.210 (72/343). Progress!
    Great stats, thanks! The contrast between this month and the previous months of the season is really staggering, and absolutely backs up the eye test - something changed for him in December that made him more comfortable, or just willing, to take more threes. Whatever it is, he's gotta keep it up...

    What are the chances Dejounte is DJ's actual ST persona, and he got mad after I said he doesn't shoot no threes? Worth investigating...

    I hate to admit it, but I agree with you . It does make a big difference for Poeltl to have a long PF to help rebound, boxout, deflect layups that often times Keldon is just too small for. I love Keldon, but KBD compliments Poeltl better as the starting PF and last night shows a glimpse of that.
    I'm framing this agreement on my fridge, just so you know

    What's insane to me about this is - KBD isn't even a "good" PF, he's literally on a two-way and has one foot out of the league, so to speak. You just gotta imagine how good our defensive presence and rebounding could be, if you paired Poeltl with an actually good-to-great PF.... Someone who could not only do the basic rebound-defend-boxout, but also shoot 3's at a high clip, handle the ball with fluidity, or score inside where Jakob doesn't. I salivate at the thought...

  11. #211
    Believe. gilmor2002's Avatar
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    Finally get to watch the game.

    Key players for Spurs - Derek, DJ, Lonnie and Jacob.

    Who is that green that sits behind Pop

  12. #212
    Veteran RC_Drunkford's Avatar
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    Exactly this. It's amazing how suddenly solid the Spurs' defense is once Jakob doesn't have to constantly get out of position to guard the opposing PFs, isn't it? And yesterday, Aaron Gordon ate us alive in the minutes KBD wasn't on the court matching him, whilst Jokic on the other hand (who everyone was predicting would "light Jakob up"...) had a very pedestrian game by his standards.

    It's plain as day to see Keldon doesn't cut it as a PF, on either end, but especially so on defense. He doesn't only lack the size to defend the position; he lacks the strength, the positioning ability, the rebounding and boxing out instincts, the help defense rotating instincts. He's simply not a PF, or at least not a starting one, and it hurts the Spurs every game he pretends to be one. A difficult conundrum for the Spurs to be sure, given how relatively good he is on offense, and being a fan favorite, and a Gold medalist, but he's just not a PF, and the Spurs can't depend on KBD every game neither.
    your PF should always give you additional shot blocking. Thatís what really turns the defense up, especially when your center has to defend on the perimeter. That has been the type of player this team is missing for years now. The problem is they need a very complete 4. good defender, long with a 3-point shot. There arenít too many in the league right now

  13. #213
    Veteran playbonner15's Avatar
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    What did I just see? Thatís real? Lawd have mercy
    Yeah Jokic did that pass vs Spurs a month ago

  14. #214
    Starter off the bench Uriel's Avatar
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    Spurms.

  15. #215
    The St. Croix Boy duncan2k5's Avatar
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    It's only a half, but Murray FINALLY having an awful game... Was beginning to wonder if he was human

  16. #216
    Hope springs eternal. SAGirl's Avatar
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    So instead of crying why donít you do the reviews?
    What crying? Wtf you talking about?

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