Save for two of his last four games, San Antonio Spurs guard Devin Vassell is becoming the continued force his team envisions. Overshadowed for a month by teammate Victor Wembanyama's stat stuffing efforts, Vassell hadn't scored less than 15 points since January 15th vs. the Atlanta Hawks.

That is, until a loss right before the All-Star Break. The Spurs second leading scorer's consistency has come with a change in his approach.

“I think that stretch, the Atlanta [game] and I can't think of the other game where I just couldn't make a three to save my life, I just had to figure out other ways to score, which was getting to the basket, which was not just relying on the three-ball,” Vassell said after consecutive outings against the Hawks and Chicago Bulls in which he scored four and five points respectively.

“Even now, even if the three-ball's going down, I'm not just relying on that, I know I can get to the rim,” Vassell continued. “Whether it's me getting fouled, whether it's me drawing attention and throwing it to Vic or finding others on the three-point line, just me being aggressive is really helping the team.”

Devin Vassell's motivation

San Antonio Spurs guard Devin Vassell (24) shoots against the Los Angeles Lakers during the second half at Arena.
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Vassell is coming off a team-high 27 points in Sunday's loss to the Utah Jazz. A 32-point performance at the Sacramento Kings is sandwiched by Friday's loss to the Los Angeles Lakers in which he scored 10 and the aforementioned pre All-Star Break game against the Dallas Mavericks when he managed 11 points.

Asked what keeps him focused amid what's on pace to be the worst season in team history, the former Florida State Seminole didn't hesitate.

“Coach Pop. That's number one,” Vassell said. “There's no being complacent. Obviously, you can't get complacent when you're winning 11 games,”

“At the end of the day, he pushes me every day,” Vassell continued. “He feels like I can get to another level and I feel like I can get there too. Just trying to be a leader for this team. Help however I can with the young guys and just trying to get some wins.”

Ironically, the winningest coach in NBA history has also been at the helm of the proud franchise's worst and third worst campaigns: a 20-62 record in 1996-97 and 22-60 during the 2022-23 campaign. San Antonio is 11-47 on the season.

Looking to finish 2023-2024 strong

Vassell played in only 38 games in 2022-23 because of injuries, most notably season ending knee surgery.

“I've been feeling good throughout the season. It's the first time I've played really big minutes. I've missed just a couple of games. It's been good,” Vassell said. “I feel like this past summer I worked a lot on my body to the fact to where I just feel good. My legs feel good, my knees feel good. I'm healthy so that's all I can ask for.”

For the season, Vassell is scoring a career high 19.1 per game. He averaged 18.5 points per game the year prior.

“It's the NBA, it's tough. We knew coming into it every game was going to be tough,” Vassell admitted. “I didn't think at the beginning of the season we would've that we would've been in this position,”

“But in these last games maybe we can flip it around and turn it around and really go onto a roll going into the off-season,” the Spurs guard concluded.