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San Antonio Spurs: DeMar DeRozan explains why he’s not shooting threes - Air Alamo
In a conversation with sharpshooter J. J. Redick, San Antonio Spurs star DeMar DeRozan went into detail about why he limits his 3-point attempts. In an NBA...
In a conversation with sharpshooter J. J. Redick, San Antonio Spurs star DeMar DeRozan went into detail about why he limits his 3-point attempts. In an NBA landscape that’s increasingly shifting to the longball, the San Antonio Spurs seem to be one of the few holdouts left. One of the biggest reasons for that is the playing style of their two stars, DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge. While Gregg Popovich has been against the 3-point revolution for some time, the Spurs have been slowly increasing their attempts in recent years, but still were 28th in attempts this season at 28.5 per game. Naturally, the question often arises regarding why the Spurs’ offense doesn’t lean more heavily on the trifecta, and DeRozan recently gave some insight as to why that is the case. In an appearance on J.J. Redick‘s podcast, The Old Man & the Three, the Pelicans guard searched for answers. “My first year in Philly, we’re playing you guys, and all of a sudden you start shooting threes,” said Redick. “You hit six threes that game, ended up 6-for-9 from three, 45 points. In that season, you averaged 3.6 attempts per game. Since you got to San Antonio, you’re at half a three a game. Why have you never pursued that?” DeMar DeRozan then recounted a story about the 2016 NBA season, a time in which he says everyone started to shoot threes more frequently. “Somebody told me [I’m] not going to last long if I don’t start shooting threes,” said DeRozan. “Going into 2016, I said no, you can’t tell me I have to shoot threes to be a good player. That year, I proved a point. It was just me being stubborn. The next year comes, everybody kept saying I can’t shoot threes. That whole season, I was like, I’m going to show you I can shoot threes. Stop saying I can’t shoot them just because I don’t.” The data certainly backs up how DeRozan’s mindset changed for the 2017-18 season in Toronto, as he shot a career-high 3.6 attempts per game from downtown. That was nearly a full attempt higher on average than his previous high of 2.7 in 2013-14. Still, his points per game dropped from 27.3 to 23.0 that year. Why DeMar doesn’t feel the need to shoot threes in San Antonio Forwarding to his last two years with the San Antonio Spurs, DeRozan explained how his 3-point shot hasn’t felt necessary in their system. Recalling from his first year in the Alamo City, DeMar talked about what sealed the deal for him opting to be more of a playmaker. “My first year in San Antonio, I played with [Davis] Bertans. One of the best shooters I’ve played with in my career,” said DeRozan. “I remember preseason, he came to me and said ‘I’ve never gotten this many open threes.’ I had Bryn Forbes telling me the same thing. I felt different getting my shooters shots.” DeMar’s assists back up his self-diagnosed addiction to setting up his teammates. The past two seasons in San Antonio have been the best passing years of his career in assists per game, with 6.2 in 2018-19 and 5.6 this year. DeRozan’s tendency to drive and search for the right play instead of settling for threes has been the main thing that’s fueled the Spurs’ offense since he arrived in San Antonio. While the Spurs narrowly missed out on the playoffs for the first time in over two decades, it’s hard to assign much of the blame to DeMar’s lack of outside shooting, but he’ll likely continue to be asked about it for the rest of his career. When assured by Redick that he’d probably average close to 30 points per game if he shoots six-to-eight threes every night, DeRozan turned to history to answer why that’s not his style. “If you look at the top 50 greatest players of all time, how many of them had to shoot 6 to 8 threes per game?” asked DeMar. “When I know I can get to my spot and nobody can stop me doing this, I become comfortable. It’s just my own approach to the game.” Going into next season, DeMar will likely continue to improve his all-around game and role as a facilitator and creator. If the occasional 3-pointer is open, he’s likely to take it, but don’t expect him to look for that as a go-to option. “I don’t have anything against it,” said DeRozan. “I’m not rebelling toward it. Stop me from getting to the rim. Then I’ll take a couple here and there.”
San Antonio Spurs: Free agent targets clash in Clippers versus Nuggets Game Seven - Air Alamo
The San Antonio Spurs could use game seven of the LA Clippers vs. Denver Nuggets series to scout for potential matches in free agency. Just because you can...
Just because you can’t watch the San Antonio Spurs in the playoffs doesn’t mean there’s nothing to watch for. Besides the intensity, NBA history and unlikely circumstances of this season, there’ll be a ripple effect from the events of these playoffs. Key free agents will participate in tonight’s Game Seven of the Western Conference Semifinals between the LA Clippers and Denver Nuggets. There are three players in particular for the San Antonio Spurs to keep an eye on — Two of which are Nuggets. First and foremost is the darling of Spurs Twitter, forward Jerami Grant. With a $9.3 million player option for next season, signs point toward Grant opting out in search of a long-term contract worth a bit more on the front-end starting next season. While Grant isn’t a world-beater, he’s the type of player that can push the needle for a Spurs team that lost its defensive identity. A versatile and lengthy defender at 6-foot-8, Grant has the athleticism and quickness to guard positions 3-through-5 more competently than anyone on San Antonio’s roster. A key component of his game is a balanced offensive attack highlighted by an improved 3-point stroke. Grant hit 38.9 percent of his triples in the regular season. San Antonio might be able to muster up the cap space to bring Grant along in the offseason if some free agents walk. They also have their mid-level exception, but Grant is likely looking for more than San Antonio can offer him in that regard. Still, he’s someone that Spurs fans would be willing to make sacrifices to acquire in a prospective signing. Another under-the-radar Nuggets player is Torrey Craig, who enters unrestricted free agency this offseason. Each of the three players on this list fit the bill of being energy-injectors who hustle and play with heart at every opportunity. Craig is a solid perimeter defender who participated in big moments for the Nuggets by this point. The offense is rocky, but the Spurs need players who can come up with big plays as an on-ball defender. The last of the three is Montrezl Harrell, who is probably the least likely option to leave his team coming off of a Sixth Man of the Year award. Chances are, he’ll get paid more money than San Antonio could afford without DeRozan walking in free agency, but the point stands that the Spurs should be looking in his direction. Harrell is one of the game’s better interior scorers, pick-and-roll finishers and offensive rebounders despite being a bit undersized. Harrell would make a great complement for the Spurs’ current bigs who have a ton of skill but lack intensity. He’d fit in perfectly with the current core that features young wings who bring an uptempo, physical style to the table. If Poeltl walks in restricted free agency and the Spurs have enough cap space to make something work, bringing Harrell to the Alamo City would be a tremendous help. Tonight, we get to see what these players look under pressure. While it may be a chance for them to drive up their value in the open market, it’s also a chance for NBA general managers to take a look at their game and consider their fit with a new organization. Both Denver and LA have loaded cap sheets and returning these players won’t be easy. That’s where the San Antonio Spurs could make a splash.
3 San Antonio Spurs storylines to follow as return to play approaches - Air Alamo
Keep your eyes on these three important San Antonio Spurs storylines The last few weeks have been fast-paced and full of breaking news related to the NBA a...
DeMar DeRozan #10, Rudy Gay #22, Patty Mills #8 and LaMarcus Aldridge #11 of the San Antonio Spurs celebrate against the Los Angeles Lakers (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) The last few weeks have been fast-paced and full of breaking news related to the NBA and the San Antonio Spurs. After a slow news period during April and May, the updates have been coming seemingly every day. Obviously the biggest news was the NBA announcing an official return to play on July 31st. 22 NBA teams will travel to Orlando to play a final eight wrap up games that will then lead into the postseason. One interesting wrinkle in this years postseason has been the introduction of a play-in series for the final playoff spot if the conditions are right. If the 8th and 9th seed are separated by four or fewer games the 8th and 9th seed will play in a play-in series that will be double elimination for the 8th seed and single elimination for the 9th seed. Thats just one of the changes that the league has made to try to make the end of this years season a unique and fair experience for all teams. Theyve also opened up the possibility of teams waiving or adding a player during a one week period in June, or adding a player who to replace someone who has been lost to a season-ending injury. That last provision is particularly relevant to the San Antonio Spurs given the recent news that the team has shared with us about LaMarcus Aldridges season-ending shoulder surgery. It can all be a lot to keep track of so to make things simple here are our three key San Antonio Spurs storylines to watch over the coming weeks.
It’s Boogie time! Spurs should bring in DeMarcus Cousins for playoff push - Air Alamo
The San Antonio Spurs could use DeMarcus Cousins for a playoff push San Antonio Spurs fans have experienced quite a swing of highs and lows over the last w...
The San Antonio Spurs could use DeMarcus Cousins for a playoff push San Antonio Spurs fans have experienced quite a swing of highs and lows over the last week. It was recently announced that the NBA would be returning on July 31st with 22 teams, the Spurs among them, heading to Orlando to play out a final eight games of the regular season. This would give the Spurs a chance at making the playoffs for a record-setting 23rd consecutive season. Just as we were thinking about who the Spurs would have to gameplan for and predicting how those final eight games might shake out the team’s playoff aspirations took a major hit. The near-crippling blow came in the form of the breaking news that the teams star big man, LaMarcus Aldridge, would miss the rest of the season after undergoing surgery on his right shoulder. San Antonio was already dealing with a shallow frontcourt before this news came out. Now they’ve got serious depth issues up front. They could turn to players already on the roster or bring up someone like Chimezie Metu to help stabilize things. Or they could use a recently introduced roster rule to add someone for their playoff push. The NBA is going to have a one week window in late June for teams to make final adjustments to their rosters in preparation for the conclusion of the regular season. They’ll be able to waive or sign active players to fill an open roster spot, or they can sign an active player to fill the hole left by a player who is injured for the rest of the season. As difficult as it will be, overcoming Aldridge’s absence could open a window for San Antonio to try something bold. Signing DeMarcus Cousins to help fill the void left by Aldridge could be what the Spurs need to make a playoff push and help them down the road as well. San Antonio Spurs need to give DeMarcus Cousins a call Cousins has undergone a brutal stretch of injuries over the past few years. A torn Achilles tendon, torn quadriceps, and torn ACL have all sidelined him for the better part of the last two and a half years. It’s a tragic series of unfortunate events for one of the most skilled big men the league has seen in recent memory. Boogie tore his ACL back in August and was subsequently waived by the Los Angeles Lakers in February. A report from Sam Quinn of CBS Sports had Lakers head coach Frank Vogel saying that Cousins, who was still on the roster at the time, was on track to get healthy by the playoffs. Given the extra time created by the season suspension, there’s a decent chance that Cousins has had the necessary time to get healthy and get his conditioning back to where it once was. He might not ever return to the All-NBA level he was once at but even 80 percent of peak DeMarcus Cousins would be better than what the Spurs have on their roster right now. He can be a dominant scoring presence, he’s a career 21.2 points per game scorer, and voracious rebounder (10.9 rebounds per game). The biggest drop off from LaMarcus to Boogie would be the loss of Aldridge’s presence as a 3-point threat. One of the biggest surprises for Spurs fans this year was LaMarcus’s emergence as a legitimate 3-point threat in mid-December. He went from hardly ever shooting from behind the arc to becoming an oversized Splash Brother in a matter of weeks, much to the benefit of his slashing teammates. This is a far-reaching hypothetical but signing Boogie to a quick deal for this playoff push could help benefit both him and the Spurs. If he plays well it’s sure to help build interest around his next move and could help him land another contract, potentially with the Spurs. He’s 29 years old and turning 30 in August, and without a body of proof that he’s ready to contribute to an NBA team it could be hard for him to find a suitor. As much as his presence on the Spurs roster could help the team potentially make the playoffs it could also serve as an eight-game audition for Cousins to prove himself to the rest of the league. It’s a stretch, but adding DeMarcus Cousins for these final eight games could be a move that benefits both the San Antonio Spurs and Cousins.
San Antonio Spurs Draft: 3 late round prospects worth trading down for - Air Alamo
One of these three players would be a great fit for the San Antonio Spurs Before we knew that the San Antonio Spurs would be heading to Orlando to take par...
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA MARCH 11: Josh Green #0 of the Arizona Wildcats handles the ball against Elijah Hardy #10 and Jaden McDaniels #0 of the Washington Huskies. (Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images) Before we knew that the San Antonio Spurs would be heading to Orlando to take part in the rest of the NBA season, and maybe the postseason, one of the few things Spurs fans had to look forward to was the NBA Draft Lottery. After one of the worst seasons in over twenty years, the Spurs could look forward to what will be their highest draft pick since they took Tim Duncan back in 1997. With a solid young core of Dejounte Murray, Derrick White, and Lonnie Walker, Spurs fans can freely imagine what the next few years of the franchise will look like with one of the top prospects in the draft joining the team. Will the Spurs be able to add someone like Patrick Williams to stabilize the frontcourt? Or could they strike gold and get a top-four pick? Theyre well set in the backcourt for the next few years, this draft should be focused on shoring up the wings or adding another young presence down low. Thankfully those a fairly deep positions in this draft class. Heres where possibilities pop up. Right now San Antonio has a 77.6 percent chance of ending up with the 11th overall pick, according to Tankathon. Whoever they might get there is sure to be a good player, but whos to say that trading down and taking someone with slightly less upside wouldnt be worth it in the long run. Trading down ten or so spots to the early 20s would still give the Spurs a large enough window to draft a talented wing prospect and add another asset to the war chest for later. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush but stocking up on assets is never a bad play, especially for a team thats looking at a rebuild. Here are three players that would make trading down a worthwhile investment.
The NBA is back and the San Antonio Spurs are heading to Orlando - Air Alamo
The San Antonio Spurs should be one of the teams going to Orlando After weeks of speculation, the NBA is closing in on a defined plan to resume play. Right...
The San Antonio Spurs should be one of the teams going to Orlando After weeks of speculation, the NBA is closing in on a defined plan to resume play. Right now we only have a few details and plans have yet to be finalized pending a vote tomorrow but it looks like the San Antonio Spurs will be one of the 22 teams heading to Orlando for the final stretch of the season. As is typical with NBA news it was Adrian Wojnarowski who was one of the first to report the news. From what we’ve heard so far it sounds like there will be a play-in tournament to decide the final playoff spot. There will be eight regular-season games to decide the 8th and 9th seeds in each respective conference. If the 9th seeded team is within four games of the 8th seeded team the two would enter into a play-in series for the final playoff spot. What does a play-in tournament look like for San Antonio Spurs The tournament will be single elimination style for teams in the 9th seed and double elimination for the team in the 8th seed. In theory, there is a possibility that the Spurs could climb back into the next ’round’ of the playoffs but they’ll need to be at their absolute best for these regular-season games that will give them a chance to play in a play-in game for the playoffs. The eight regular-season games that the teams will play are going to be critical for the Spurs. As they’re currently four spots outside of the 8th seed they’re going to have to be on their absolute best for these 8 contests. Each one will need to be essentially treated like a single-elimination game. San Antonio has one of the smallest windows in the league to make it into that play-in tournament, if they lose even one game it could drastically hinder their chances of making it into the playoffs. Of the other teams in the play-in tournament, only Portland can field as many high-impact players who have played in as many high-pressure games as the members of the Spurs have. With these regular games taking place in an absolute pressure cooker of an environment, with very little time to prepare, the cool-headed veterans of the San Antonio Spurs will have the edge over teams like Sacramento, Memphis, and New Orleans who will be heavily reliant on players who will be making their first near playoff appearances. There are still a lot of details to be nailed down. Who will be coaching the Spurs, what will the teams’ strategy be, what will the exact structure of the play-in tournament look like? All are key pieces in putting together a detailed picture of what the return to play will look like. Buckle in Spurs fans, there’s going to be a lot more exciting news coming out over the next two months. But the good news is that the NBA should be coming back on July 31st.