What to do with all the Spurs injuries

Do you think that all the players who have wasted time for the Spurs have they had real injuries this season or do you think they’ve left some guys out of the tank?

Marilyn Dubinski: My general thought process has been that, with a few exceptions, if a player suddenly randomly misses a game with a mystery injury (like Keldon Johnson in Houston), it’s a “strategic” injury. Devin Vassell’s random rest games make sense with his delicate knee and obviously Jakob Poeltl’s knee, Jeremy Sochan’s quad and Zach Collins’s leg (to name a few that come to mind) weren’t fake. But overall, the Spurs are definitely using any little bump or bruise (conceived or not) to their advantage.

Mark Barrington: They are real, of course, but perhaps they are injuries that players would play for on a contending team. Pop is perfectly willing to rest players for full recovery if he wants to give Stanley Johnson a few more minutes instead of Keldon Johnson. If the minutes go to a young player like Bassey that the team is trying to develop and evaluate, all the better. They’re not trying to LOSE games, they’re just not always trying to put a lineup on the court to WIN them when players aren’t feeling 100%.

Bruno Steps: There is likely to be a happy medium between all injuries being legitimate and the team exercising a greater degree of caution and patience thanks to winning not being at the top of their priority list. Does the latter still fall under any definition of a tank? Probably, but not by the most cynical interpretation.

Jesus Gomez: The injuries that have forced players to miss significant time are undeniably real, but it’s impossible to be sure that the rest of the absences haven’t been strategic to some degree. Even those who are confident that the Spurs will never stagnate would probably have to admit that it would simply make sense to be overly cautious in a rebuilding season and sit someone who in recent years would have overcome minor injuries. That’s how things work in the NBA and I doubt the basketball gods will be mad at the Spurs for it.

JR Wilco: In years past, whenever someone accused the Spurs of collapsing to get Duncan, they would immediately tell them to look at the number of games San Antonio missed due to injury that season. “How can you say that Pop collapsed,” he would ask her, “when the team couldn’t keep anyone healthy?” I didn’t follow the 1996-7 Spurs season. But I’ve followed this one and I understand now… I’ll never contradict anyone like that again.

Who has benefited the most from the opportunity to play created by the injuries to the main players?

Deep: Charles Bassey immediately comes to mind. There haven’t been many games lately where both Poeltl and Collins have played, and Bassey has used those minutes to prove he’s an NBA player, not a G-League player or even a two-way player (many of the 76ers that they disagreed with Doc Rivers’ decision to let him go would have told you), with his energy, hustle and shot-blocking ability. He has yet to work on his willingness to shoot out of the paint or just tips, but he has made the most of the opportunity he has been given. (And he needs to keep doing it since, as he showed the game in Houston, he won’t get much out of garbage time with Poeltl and Collins available).

Barrington: I think Bassey is a guy who is working a lot more than he would be on a playoff-seeking team, and he’s benefiting from the minutes. But I think it’s the rotating 15th slot that has been the most interesting. While Jordan Hall clearly wasn’t ready to play at the NBA level yet, his experience with the team will be invaluable as he improves and possibly makes the NBA roster for years to come. Getting a year’s salary from the NBA, even at the bottom of the bench tiers, is a huge motivator to keep working on his game, even if his top turns out to be playing a few years abroad. Similarly, Alize Johnson has benefited from a cup of coffee at the NBA level and a couple of weeks as the head coach of the Spurs. Stanley Johnson has been terrific thus far, and it looks like he could end up making the roster, so that final spot could end up rotating for this season.

Steps: Charles Bassey has shown he has a place in the league and has given 76ers fans another thing to rage about, while Malaki Branham has used his recent reps to string together some very promising games, but I’ll take Romeo Langford. , which is now tenth. on the team in total minutes played and averaging 3 more minutes than his previous career record per game. Given the glut of guards on the roster and the trend of his career, I’d say the opportunity presented to him and the defensive niche he’s carved out have been some of the most significant developments for any individual career.

Gomez: In terms of potentially earning a future role with the Spurs, probably Romeo Langford. Bassey has likely helped the most in his career, but he has two veteran centers ahead of him on the depth chart, so barring a trade or other major injury, he probably won’t get burned much going forward. Langford could, through the good defense and constant hustle and bustle he’s shown, get a handful of minutes a game to show that his offense is making progress, too.

Willco: For me, it’s a toss up between Branham and Langford. In a normal season, both would have been glued to the bench or getting reps in Austin. But this year, they’ve both gotten minutes, shown what they’re capable of and excited fans about their long-term prospects. I hope they both develop and end up staying on the team.

Who has missed out on claiming a spot in the rotation?

Deep: It’s hard to say considering everyone has certainly had their share of opportunities with all the “injuries.” The one player I’d like to see more of, but haven’t, is Isaiah Roby. He certainly doesn’t lack confidence and he can shoot the ball, but he’s stuck behind a relatively deep group of forwards, and when they’re available, Pop sticks with the veterans. Is it a case of Roby not “earning” his keep when he plays (he’s rarely been outstanding, but certainly not bad), or does he just need to wait for Doug McDermott and/or Josh Richardson to be traded to receive consistent minutes? ?

Barrington: No one really qualifies for that title, because almost everyone has had a chance to play this year. Isaiah Roby has been intriguing, he’s had his moments, but his arguments in defending him are highly suspect. I think that’s mainly because he’s been called up to play center, something he’s not good at, especially defensively. Roby should never play five unless everyone else on the team over 6’6” has two broken legs. He has intriguing athleticism, so maybe he can be trained to become an acceptable backup power forward over time, but I think he needs at least another year in the system to get there. The fact that he often seems lost on defense is a good reason to keep him off the field for now.

Steps: Before Jeremy Sochan became the Day 1 starter, I actually thought Isaiah Roby might have a case for the job, or at least regular minutes, given his experience and ability to help Spurs play more or less. He still enjoys his minutes and random flashes above the rim, but has apparently fallen into the Trey Lyles Zone of competent players who don’t move the needle. On a team with younger players (he’s only 24, which makes him objectively young but Spurs old), he’s gotten a bit lost in the shuffle.

Gomez: As unfair as it seems to pick a rookie who is expected to develop slowly, I have to say Malaki Branham. He’s coming off a couple of strong starts, but he probably didn’t do enough to avoid returning to Austin as soon as there are enough bodies at his position. It’s not necessarily a bad thing that he’s likely to go back to the original plan for his development, but it would have been nice to see the rookie show that he was more NBA-ready than expected.

Willco: I hate to say it, but the only answer to this question is Joshua Primo.

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