When the news broke last summer that the San Antonio Spurs and guard Marco Belinelli had agreed on a two-year contract, Spurs nation was probably a little skeptical.
Belinelli was coming off a mediocre 2012-13 season for the Chicago Bulls in which he shot a marginal 35.7 percent from 3-point range. Spurs fans weren’t excited about the idea of breaking ties with Gary Neal, who had just put on a spectacular shooting performance in Game 3 of the NBA Finals. So, the question remained: was Belinelli going to be worth the nearly $6 million the Spurs offered him?
On Wednesday night against the Dallas Mavericks, the answer looked to be a definite ‘yes’ as Belinelli’s 17 points help lifted the Spurs to a 112-90 victory over the Mavs. Belinelli came off the bench shooting 6-of-9 from the field in 25 minutes of court time. In addition to his solid performance, he is averaging 10.8 points per game this season with a blistering 50.4 percent shooting mark from beyond the arc.
If Belinelli can continue a shooting pace like that deep into the playoffs, Spurs fans might just forget about the heroics of Neal.
Belinelli seems to have made an effortless transition into the Spurs organization and the offense of Gregg Popovich, but has yet to locate a definite role. His shoot-first mindset will mesh well with the Spurs’ offensive tactics, which make good use of the three-ball. With the load of offensive responsibilities that he had to endure with Derrick Rose being injured last year for the Bulls, there should no problem adjusting to the less demanding role as a guard for the Spurs.