Spurs’ Jeremy Sochan a possible candidate for Rising Stars challenge

Luke Lawhorn, Sports Editor

In the midst of an expected rebuilding season, the Spurs may have a representative in Salt Lake City for the NBA’s annual All-Star game next month.

The former ninth overall pick in last year’s draft has played himself inside the top-10 amongst rookies in scoring (eighth), assists (fifth) and rebounds (seventh).

The first night of All-Star Weekend is the Rising Stars Challenge, where NBA assistant coaches select 12 rookies, 12 second-year players and four G-League Ignite players. 

“It’s not my call,” Sochan said. “I think personally I do deserve it, so we’ll see.”

The Baylor alum is a key player for the Spurs and has been a starter for a majority of the season. Though the invite would be great for Sochan’s résumé, he is focused on the team.

“I think it would be a cool achievement, but it is what it is,” Sochan said. “I’m just going to keep playing here and see what happens.” 

Tonight’s matchup

San Antonio hopes to snap their five-game losing streak in tonight’s contest against the Brooklyn Nets. 

After starting the season poorly, the Nets are one of the hottest teams in the NBA despite losing their last two games.

Brooklyn will be eager to turn their momentum around without their star player Kevin Durant who has missed the last couple of games after going down with a knee injury.

“They find ways to score really well and efficiently,” Sochan said after today’s shootaround.

The two teams met in Brooklyn on Jan. 2, where the Nets handled the Spurs easily, winning 139-103. 

Playing a team like the Nets, who have an offensive identity, is a tough task for a young San Antonio team. The Spurs are one of the lowest-graded defensive teams in the NBA and have struggled all season with veteran offensive players.

“They switch everything,” Zach Collins said. “Anytime a team switches, it kind of mugs up your offense and your movement and makes you play a different way. But, we have ways to expose that; we just have to execute.”

The Spurs will host the Nets tonight at 7 p.m. at the AT&T Center.