Camouflaging behind this enormous and well-deserved attention the Golden State Warriors are receiving is the San Antonio Spurs. Despite this lack of attention, the Spurs are still getting it done.
Same old Spurs, being low-key and minding their own business. This mightâ€™ve been expected from them considering the limelight is not very Spurs-like. Last offseason, they became the main story of the league as they signed the number one free agent, LaMarcus Aldridge. They also signed David West, who took a ten million dollar pay cut to play with the franchise.
The Spurs not only changed their personnel this season, they also changed their style of play. They still move the ball around and take the best possible shot the same as the previous couple of seasons, but the focal point of the offense has changed. This season, the main focus of their offense has been Kawhi Leonard, as heâ€™s continuing to make a leap this year. He is averaging about 27 points, seven rebounds, two steals and a top-five PER (player efficiency rating) of 27.52. He is also getting it done on the defensive end as he continues to shut down the other teamâ€™s top players. One example is their recent home game against Indiana, where MVP candidate Paul George went 1-14 FG, only scoring seven points. It is clear that Leonard is the best player of this team.
As the whole league is shifting towards taking more threes and taking less twos, the Spurs are the doing the exact opposite. Coach Gregg Popovich recently said that he â€œhatesâ€ the idea of having a 3-pointer and he compared it to being like a â€œcircus.â€
Take a look at their three-point attempts for the past few seasons:
2012-2013 â€“ 21.5 3PA/GM
2013-2014 â€“ 21.4 3PA/GM
2014-2015 â€“ 22.5 3PA/GM
2015-2016 â€“ 19.1 3PA/GM
The Spurs are in the bottom 5 in three-point attempts per game, and taking less than ten threes, than the Golden State Warriors, TEN! They changed their play mainly to satisfy and find a fit to their newly acquired power forward and even though they are taking less threes, they are still third in the league in offensive efficiency (106.8) and second in the league on field goal percentage at 40 percent.
The Spurs will continue to play at the slow, bottom five of the league pace and top five style that fits them. It will be nice to look forward at their remaining match-ups against Cleveland (two games), Oklahoma City (three games) and Golden State (four games).