- Created on Monday, 02 December 2013 13:20
- Last Updated on Tuesday, 03 December 2013 01:26
- Written by David Rountree
In the off-season most Spur fans wanted the team to sign Andre Kirlenko, but the Spurs got Marco Belinelli instead. The Spurs did try to get both players but with Kirlenko missing most of the season so far it seems that fate is once again on the Spurs’ side.
Belinelli has oddly fit right into the Spurs’ system, which has never happened before. Several first year players have been known to struggle understanding Coach Popovich’s offensive/defensive scenarios. Players like Richard Jefferson, Tiago Splitter, and even Danny Green at first struggled with the system.
Belinelli did always have the skill set to potentially thrive though; no one just thought it would be this early on. He is coming off a good year playing in a defensively minded Chicago Bull’s system and that obviously prepared him for the rigors of playing under Popovich. Bull’s Coach Tom Thibodeau’s philosophy is filled with Popovich-like qualities and features.
Defensively, Belinelli has been what the Spurs needed off the bench; he has a better defensive skill-set than former Spur Gary Neal. So the Spurs gain better defensive stats without losing a potent shooter.
Belinelli came to the Spurs with a very capable three-point stoke as well, which is basically a prerequisite to thrive in the system, just ask former Spur Richard Jefferson. The only players that seem to be able to do well without the shot are Tony Parker and Tim Duncan.Belinelli so far is thriving from behind the arc, shooting a blazing 57% from the three-point line.
He has also had great on the court chemistry with Manu Ginobili. Both players have really elevated each others’ games, with their high energy and court vision. The Spurs have the luxury of having two potential starters coming off the bench to give their team a boost offensively. These guys are great play makers and their assist numbers have been healthy to say the least, their averaging almost seven assists between them—off the bench.
Belinelli has bought into the Spurs’ free-flowing offense and he is shooting the basketball with confidence. The San Antonio Spurs organization has once again found another diamond in the rough.