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Devin Vassell and Jeremy Sochan showed the Spurs’ future is bright against the Pacers

Two straight wins can really help keep things in perspective.

NBA: Indiana Pacers at San Antonio Spurs Dustin Safranek-USA TODAY Sports

Some will point to the standings and worry what too many wins might do, but it still feels good to see the Spurs win again, and it’s especially nice to win and have plenty of positives to take away from it. While that wasn’t necessarily the case in the Spurs’ ugly but streak-busting win in Utah, last night’s win at home against the Indiana Pacers felt more satisfying for various reasons, including reminding the Spurs what they have for the futuer.

Devin Vassell returned after a two-month layoff, and after shaking off some rust in the first quarter, he reminded everyone why he was their best player before his knee injury. His first bucket of the game was an emphatic first quarter dunk to show his knee is just fine.

After missing his other four shots of the first quarter, he would go on to hit seven of his final ten attempts for 18 points on 8-15 shooting, including a 10-point burst in third quarter as the Spurs dominated and pulled away. Even though defense has been the Spurs biggest issue this season (outside their last two games), not having enough scoring to counter it gave them little hope in many games. Having Vassell back will help a lot in that category.

Another player the Spurs have missed off and on due to various ailments is Jeremy Sochan, but when healthy, he has been their most exciting player in the 2023 calender year. He also had an inefficient start to the game, which skewered his shooting numbers a bit, but once he got on a roll in the second half, he was nearly unstoppable. He got what he wanted on offense and irritated the Pacers on defense, posting the first double-double of his career with 22 points and 13 rebounds. It’s hard to emphasize how bright the future looks for him, but he is looking more and more like he’s a consistent three-point shot away from being an All-Star — and he’s still just 19-years-old.

Two more players also had strong performances for the Spurs, putting up 18 points apiece. One was Zach Collins, who has continued to hold his own as a starter. He hit 2-4 threes and also added 6 rebounds, 5 assists (one off his career high) and 2 blocks in a complete effort last night. He hustled all night and set the tone for the Spurs dominant second half by forcing three offensive rebounds on their first possession. Whether he’s next season’s starter or not, he’s certainly making a case for the Spurs to pick up the remaining year on his contract.

The fourth big contributor for the night was Devonte’ Graham, who’s offense has remained up and down since he got here, but when he’s on, his three-point shot is another huge boost to this Spurs offense. Last night he took all ten of his attempts from three, hitting five of them.

Finally, Blake Wesley continues to look raw but show improvement with playing time. His speed is his biggest asset, and he used it to outrun the Pacers in transition and added a three for good measure.

And finally, the full game highlights: