With so many people looking at what Pop is doing with Jeremy Sochan, many seem to be quite puzzled. This doesn’t work, why is this still going on? This is a failed experiment. "We need a traditional Point Guard".
It is a fair point as I sat there watching comments from Spurs fan groups and on social media (even had my fair share of disagreements). Normally, if you see something that doesn’t seem like it fits, you think to try something else. But what if traditional is an outdated formula for the "new NBA"? I think we all know what is meant by that. Wemby, who we can agree is one of the new faces of "this is the new norm of the NBA".Wemby dazzles the crowd with an amazing no-look mid-air dish to Vassell
7’4 players who can handle the ball down the court and shoot practically from anywhere. Not only that, but can be fluid and flashy with a wow effect. That "I have to see this" type of energy. Most people would see that and say, I don’t even know what position this person should play. They can do it all.
So if this is going to be the new era of the NBA, where positionless basketball is a rising thing; what if unorthodox, weird ideas are what will get the Spurs that next ring if this is allowed time to grow?
As someone who likes weird, new creative ideas, it made sense to me right away. I also had a feeling that with the way Jeremy played last season, I wondered if Pop would try him at point guard one season.
Sochan is a moldable dimensional player that fits this new era. He’s 6’8, strong, has playmaking ability, can rebound, and guard every position; albeit his 3-point shot is a work in progress, he makes up for it in hustle and heart where those 50/50 plays matter. A lot of people said you can’t "teach" someone to play point guard but I think that’s incorrect. When you have someone like Pop and a player like Sochan who isn’t afraid to try new, "weird" things, you start to create something beautiful.
If you remember how Pop looked at Manu's playstyle and it was so chaotic to him, it was that patience and understanding that allowed Manu’s unorthodox play to blossom. I know this is a bit different as that is how Manu was as a player however, this comparison is based on how Sochan sees this "role". How he wants to envision it. Nonetheless, I can imagine how fans would be now if Manu was a 20-year-old second-season player, throwing the ball in the stands from wild passes, crazy layup attempts, and drives with twists and herky-jerky moves that look like a turnover in motion. Fans would be outside the arena with pitchforks.
So since Sochan relishes in these types of things, we should allow Sochan to get better at this role and let him grow. Let his perspective grow. Let his imagination grow.
You have to remember he is 20, this is his second season and just got off injury. And he is now in a new starting role that is one of the most important jobs on the team. The pace that any point guard plays shows their personality and how they are. When Tre runs the point, he controls it how he likes the flow to be. Since he is a "pass first, push the tempo" type of player, you see that motion. This motion is a traditional style of point guard play. Strong textbook heavy, that is effective and you know it works if it’s executed correctly.
However, understands Sochan’s flow and pace. It may seem weird, and confusing at first, but I think it’s a genius style of play that could be Charlie Sheen "winning" for the Spurs. Because it leaves the defense and coaches confused. You don’t know how the play may form, but when you see it work, you just think it interesting,… didn’t think that play would have worked but they got the score.If you are trying to post up here, you can’t drive baseline and pass to Keldon’s spot because his defender naturally will rotate in your passing lane. Try to do your move here and your play will convert.
He trying out new plays that he wants to try and have his teammates in this spot, and Keldon here, Vassell cuts here…Collins screen here, etc. So, he gathers plays that work and the ones that don’t, Pop gives guided help in how to "clean" it up and make it flow better. Creativity with Structure.
If you are to criticize Sochan’s play, also make it a habit to encourage him to keep trying. Keep learning. Because constant jabs and constant only pass to one player and "get out the way" will only hurt the team’s chemistry. They are all young, eager to learn, compete, and flip the NBA on its head.
It even hasn’t been 10 games yet. Yeah, that’s right, it’s not the 38th game of the season.Kevin Durant hands caught in the Spur’s cookie jar.
If this experiment works (I think it will), the advantage we have as a team with so many unique moving parts would be "chief kiss".
Our pick-and-roll defense gets fixed. Our perimeter defense can improve once everyone understands what role they will play for this match-up and this play, and Sochan-to-Wemby pick and rolls can be unstoppable. If Sochan becomes aggressive, Wemby's defender is not going to leave him so Sochan can use his speed and strength to score on the big. Then it’s a mismatch nightmare for the other team now as Wemby can just shoot over the point guard guarding him.
In short, I think this is something Spurs fans should be encouraging and not only critiquing how something should be. Be open-minded. This is Pop, a genius mastermind at this. Allow new ideas and ways of perspectives cook.