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'We can be very successful' | Spurs' Poeltl believes the team is starting to move in the right direction

The Spurs center also credits Dejounte Murray's extraordinary play this season.

SAN ANTONIO — Following a rough start to the 2021-22 NBA season, the San Antonio Spurs are showing signs they can be a tough team to face and are showing they are much better than their 12-18 record.

The team is 5-5 in their last 10 games and currently are in the 11th spot in the West just a game out of the NBA Play-In spot.

Things are seemingly turning in the right direction and Spurs' Jakob Poeltl believes when the team is clicking, they are tough to beat.

"Our greatest strength or our identity is that we play well together. That the ball moves," Poeltl said in an interview with Austria's APA. "To do this, we have to play at full throttle every evening, which is exhausting and not always that easy to access, especially in back-to-back games. When we have the energy, we are hard to beat." 

Over the last ten games, the Spurs have defeated the West's best teams including the Warriors, Jazz, and the Nuggets. 

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They took the Suns down to the wire, only losing by four points, and convincingly beat a Clippers team on the night Paul George made his return.

But as Poeltl notes, they have to maintain high energy and play as one unit to establish consistency and for the wins to pile up.

"We also don't have any outstanding individual players who can carry us away on their own. So energy and interaction have to be right and the goal is to be able to access that more consistently," he said.

Credit: AP
Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (27), left, and San Antonio Spurs center Jakob Poeltl (25) compete for a rebound during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs Friday, Dec. 17 2021, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Kim Raff)

Leading the way this season is Dejounte Murray.

He is having a career season in every way possible averaging a career-best and team-high 18.1 points per game as well as career-highs in rebounds (8.5), and assists (8.6).

He's recorded six triple-doubles this season becoming the first Spur to accomplish the feat in team history and emerged as the team's leader.

And Poeltl recognizes Murray's efforts this season and how much he and Keldon Johnson have played well this season.

RELATED: Spurs' Dejounte Murray rising in Las Vegas odds to win NBA Most Improved Player Award

"Dejounte, for example, absolutely has it now. He can take control of the game and is our leader in terms of play," he said. 

Poeltl did recognize his solid play this season attributing it to his rise in minutes and him taking advantage of it but kept the focus on the team making positive strides as the season moves forward.

"If we continue like this, we can be very successful," Poeltl said.

Twitter: @KENS5, @JeffGSpursKENS5

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