Gary Neal could spend spot duty at point guard


With George Hill traded to the Indiana Pacers on draft night and San Antonio Spurs rookie Cory Joseph as the only backup to Tony Parker on the current roster, I played with the idea of the Spurs targeting J.J. Barea once the NBA season resumes.

While acquiring Barea might be unlikely, Jeff McDonald of Spurs Nation wrote about the possibility of Gary Neal playing at the point.

With the Spurs thin on point guard rotation, coach Gregg Popovich will likely ask Neal to log spot duty at point guard.

But instead of spending the summer in the gym with Spurs development coach Chad Forcier, as Hill did between his rookie and sophomore campaigns, Neal has been left to figure out the nuances of a new position on his own.

“I feel like I have the ability to play point,” Neal said. “I’ve always been a scorer. I just think for those 10 or 15 minutes where I get to play point guard, I just have to change my mind-set. Pass off the pick-and-roll, not shoot it.”

Having split seasons in Italy and Spain before arriving in the NBA, Neal says he hasn’t ruled out heading back to Europe to hone his craft if the lockout persists into January. But not right now.”

Earlier this month Neal also played the role of a facilitator for three quarters at a Summer Pro-Am game with success.

Last season, Neal appeared in 80 games, averaging 9.8 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 21.1 minutes per game playing mostly as the team’s backup shooting guard.

Neal’s main asset is his shooting stroke.

He shot 45.1 percent from the field including 41.9 percent beyond the arc in his first year with the Spurs, and became just the second undrafted player in NBA history to earn first-team All-Rookie honors.

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6 thoughts on “Gary Neal could spend spot duty at point guard

  1. If he will play for just say 10-15 mins at PG, I think Neal can deliver his experience overseas playing as a point guard will come into play.

  2. I think if that is the case, the Spurs should pair him with Manu. Manu can also bring up the ball and we draws the defense he can simply kick it out to Neal for an open jumper.

  3. I like Gary Neal a lot but I don’t think he is fitted to run the point for the Spurs. They might as well give that duty to Manu, because Manu is a terrific passer and knows how to make plays.

  4. Let Gary Neal just do his thing and that is to shoot three’s. Leave the ball handling chores to Parker, Joseph and Manu. Joseph is the default backup PG, Parker is the starting point guard and Manu is one of the best in drive and kicks that is more effective.

    I also believe that Barea could fit in nicely with the Spurs.

  5. Gary Neal at the PG sounds tempting but only with certain lineups(i.e. the only time Neal would be on the floor at PG is when Parker is out then Neal would be slowing down the pace of the game for Tim, Tiago not so good as the playoff indicated with bigger teams. However; you could go with Tim, Tiago, Manu, Tony, and Gary then you diminish Gary’s skills and you got GHill all over again. Maybe it will work with JJ Barea, still NO. A lineup that might just work; Tim, Tiago, Manu, RJ and Gary which problaly be a lineup if Tony needs a rest. SpursFanHenry, Bro you still need to try harder to sell me on Barea.

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