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The Spurs’ biggest surprise and disappointment so far

Offense? Defense? Any particular player?

NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at San Antonio Spurs Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports

The Spurs have been one of the most baffling teams so far in this still-young NBA season. They have a better record than most probably expected, especially with such a tough opening schedule, and how they got there (or who got them there) is even more confounding in some cases. Bleacher Report recently released a small series of articles, answering questions about each NBA team, including their biggest surprise and disappointment. Here’s what they had to say about the Spurs.

Biggest Surprise: Tre Jones

If this all felt a bit overwhelming for Tre Jones, no one would blame him. When he joined the Spurs in 2020-21, they still had DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge atop the roster.

In the two seasons since, San Antonio has moved on from not only them, but just about every recognizable face on the roster. Since that purge plucked away the likes of Dejounte Murray, Derrick White and Patty Mills, Jones is suddenly the last point guard standing in the Alamo City.

Again, this could all be more than enough to overwhelm Jones, a 22-year-old who was taken 41st overall in 2020 and rarely saw the floor as a rookie. Instead, he’s using this opportunity to make his mark. He’s one of only four players averaging at least 12 points and six assists with two or fewer turnovers, and he’s also hitting career shooting marks from three (41.9 percent) and at the line (91.7).

Biggest Disappointment: Defense

Rebuilding for the first time in decades, the Spurs are cycling through a number of young players and seeing which ones have a chance at sticking around the Alamo City. They have to be thrilled with what they’ve seen so far—on the offensive end, that is.

Defensively, this team has been a recurring nightmare.

Despite having a solid paint protector in Jakob Poeltl, a plucky perimeter stopper in Josh Richardson and a top defensive rookie in Jeremy Sochan, this squad sits 28th in both defensive efficiency and opponents’ field-goal percentage. The Spurs have held just two opponents below 100 points and allowed three to score 134-plus points.

Do you agree, or are there other aspects of the Spurs that have surprised or disappointed you? Feel free to discuss that or any other topic of the day in the comments below! (This is the Open Thread, after all.)

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