The San Antonio Spurs most important addition this offseason might be journeyman Dewayne Dedmon. After just three games in the early season this four-year vet might have found a home in San Antonio. He’s paying dividends for the Spurs who are trying to recover from the retirement of future Hall of Famer Tim Duncan. Dedmon brings defense, and crashes the offensive glass which is new feature for the Spurs.
In Dedmon’s prior stops he always struggled for minutes never averaging more than 14 per game. Although it’s early in the season he has already carved out a spot in the Spurs rotation, averaging 19 minutes over the first three games. If his numbers stay consistent he will average career highs across the board. He is already averaging 6.3 points, 7 rebounds including 3 offensive boards and 2.7 blocks a game. He closed out the game for the Spurs against the Sacramento Kings because he was able to give the very tough DeMarcus Cousin enough trouble to seal the win.
In the plays below he was able to move his feet and get his body in position to bother Cousins with his seven-foot frame as Cousins tried to keep the Kings in the game. This type of footwork and effort is much needed, as the most of the big men on the Spurs roster are known more for what they bring on the offensive end.
Another skill he brings to the Spurs is a knack for crashing the offensive glass. Against the Kings, Dedmon comes crashing in from the weakside to grab the rebound over Cousins and goes right back up with it for the easy basket. The Spurs finished 25th in the NBA in offensive rebounding averaging 9.2 a game last season while this season they are already third with 12 offensive boards a game.
It is still very early in the season but it is clear one of the Spurs’ quietest moves this offseason has turned into one of their best. Dedmon has come into games with a very workmanlike attitude defending well and providing a rebounding boost for coach Gregg Popovich. In a summer when NBA teams spent over $1.8 billion dollars on free agents, the Spurs got Dedmon for a two year deal at $5.9 million dollar deal that is an incredible bang for their buck.
A few notes:
- MVP Race – The MVP race is wide open but two favorites have already emerged in San Antonio’s Kawhi Leonard and Cleveland’s LeBron James. To start the season James had a triple double against the New York Knicks in their blowout win. Meanwhile Leonard posted two back to back 30 plus point games to the start the season, including a win opening night against the Golden State Warriors.
- New Orleans One Man Show – The last NBA player to have 90 plus total points in the first two games of the season is one Michael Jeffrey Jordan. Well it’s time to add Anthony Davis to that last after his 51 and 45 point performances for the New Orleans Pelicans. They lost both games despite his Herculean efforts. The Pelicans better find some help for him soon before he demands a trade. As these efforts are just a waste of a young talent.
- The NBA’s Other One Man Show – Russell Westbrook is another NBA superstar that is carrying his team on his back, the Thunder got two wins albeit against non-playoff teams but Westbrook’s usage rate is up nearly 11 points from last season according to Basketball-Reference.com at 42.2% for the first two games. How long can he keep this up? Maybe it’s time New Orleans and Oklahoma City get on a call together…..just sayin’