It was a disappointing start for the San Antonio Spurs in Pounding the Rock’s NBA 2K24 simulation. The team got out to a 4-16 start, and key players like Victor Wembanyama and Devin Vassell did not live up to the pre-season hype. The defense improved, but the digital Spurs struggled to put the ball in the basket.
With just a month left until the NBA season, we are speeding up the series, and simulating to the All-Star break. Here is how the Spurs did in the first half of the NBA 2K24 simulation.
After winning two straight to end the last simulation session, the Spurs dropped six consecutive games, killing any momentum that might have been building. That would be the story leading up to the All-Star break. A few games of success followed by multiple losses.
Heading into the All-Star break, the Spurs hold a 15-40 record in the simulation. They hold the worst record in the NBA.
Here was the Spurs record per month:
- December: 6-8
- January: 5-11
- February: 2-5
The poor record could be due to some injuries that happened during this stretch of the simulation. In late December Devin Vassell suffered a hip injury that left him out for three weeks. In mid-January Jeremy Sochan went down with a bruised tailbone that sidelined him for two weeks. Tre Jones suffered an ankle injury in early February that left him out for a little over a week.
Because of these injuries, I got a chance to tinker with the rotations a bit. Some of the lineups I went with over the course of the simulation included:
- Tre Jones, Devin Vassell, Keldon Johnson, Jeremy Sochan and Victor Wembanyama
- Tre Jones, Devin Vassell, Keldon Johnson, Victor Wembanyama and Zach Collins
- Tre Jones, Keldon Johnson, Jeremy Sochan, Victor Wembanyama and Zach Collins
- Jeremy Sochan, Devin Vassell, Keldon Johnson, Victor Wembanyama and Zach Collins
All of these lineups got about a 5 to 10 game sample size. The first lineup by far had the best results, going 5-3 in its eight game sample. The last lineup struggled the most, winning just two games in its seven game sample. Unfortunately, NBA 2K doesn’t track lineup data, so it’s hard to know exactly what the simulation liked about these lineups, besides the players with the higher overalls getting more minutes.
Some promising statistical developments occurred over the 35-game simulation. Johnson continues to be the team’s highest scorer, but Vassell is right behind him with 18 points a game. Vassell’s shooting percentages have improved, as he’s shooting 41% from the field and 35.9% from the field.
Wembanyama is starting to play better as well. He’s putting up 14.5 points, 9.2 rebounds and 2.3 blocks a game. Still, the shooting percentages are rough, with 38.9% shooting from the field and 28% from three.
I gave Sidy Cissoko some minutes, because given the team’s record, it seems likely that he would get some run at this point. He has had a minimal impact in a small role, averaging just 5.9 points a game.
The teams offensive woes have continued in the simulation. They are last in the league in points per game at 105.4. They are shooting just 42.2% from the field, and 32.6% from three, both metrics being the worst in the league.
On the other hand, the defense continues to play fairly well. They are 13th in the NBA in points allowed per game, blocking 5.3 shots a game and forcing 7 turnovers a game. Opponents are shooting just 35.2% from three against them, good enough for 11th in the NBA. The simulation seems low on the Spurs offensive capabilities, but likes their defensive potential in the 2023-24 season.
All-Star nods and funny trades
Given the Spurs record, it’s unsurprising that none of their players were selected to an All-Star team. Here are the teams going into the break:
Wembanyama and Sochan did make the Rising Stars roster, however, and represented team World in the simulation. Here is how they performed:
Another fun aspect of the simulation is all of the trade proposals other teams send you. Most of them are pretty silly. Here is a list of some of the trades that were prompted to the Spurs leading up to the trade deadline:
- Timberwolves offer Jaden McDaniels and Rudy Gobert for Jeremy Sochan and Keldon Johsnon
- Grizzlies offer Marcus Smart and Ziaire Williams for Keldon Johnson and Zach Collins
- Magic offer Markelle Fultz for Devin Vassell
- Hawks offer Clint Capela for Zach Collins and and 2027 second round pick swap with the Heat
I think these are all firm no’s from PATFO, but let me know in the comments if you think otherwise.
There are just 17 games left in the season after this simulation. With the playoffs pretty much out of reach, it’s a race to the bottom and the best odds to land the top pick yet again in the 2024 NBA draft. It would take quite the winning streak for San Antonio to rise out of the bottom three that includes the Wizards and the Magic. The Hornets are the 4th worst team with a 20-34 record.
Tune into the next edition of the series as we see where the Spurs will draft, and how they finish the season.