Daily MVP Film Breakdown: Bryn Forbes’ First Double Double

Spurs guard Bryn Forbes did something that he said he had never done before in basketball period, dating back to elementary school.

The former Spartan put together one of his best games ever on Tuesday against a tired and terrible Suns team, dropping a season-high 24 points and a career-high 11 rebounds, leading San Antonio to a 111-86 victory. He added three assists and tied his career-best with five three-pointers, hitting nothing but the bottom every time he let one fly from deep.

After the preseason injury to Dejounte Murray, Gregg Popovich gave Forbes the nod at starting point guard. He isn’t a defensive stalwart by any means, but Forbes compliments DeMar DeRozan’s skillset very nicely in the backcourt. DeRozan is at his best with the ball in his hands, and Forbes is at his best spacing the floor and knocking down shots when the ball comes to him.

DeRozan finished the game with just five points, but he dished nine dimes. Forbes was on the receiving end of a few. On this play Derrick White takes on three defenders in transition, curls out and finds DeMar, and DeMar feeds Forbes with a simple pass. He lines up the shot and drills it from a few feet beyond the arc.

That exceptionally deep range allows Forbes to keep defenders off balance and take it to the rim when they overcommit to the shot. Here, he uses a Ginobili-esqu hesitation fake. Is he going to let it rip? Is he going to swing it to Rudy Gay on the wing? No, he’s going to take one dribble, two steps, and float one in.

Forbes is very smart about setting up his three pointers. Coach Pop once compared him to Steph Curry, but he plays a little bit more like the other Splash Brother in Steph’s body. Every single one of his three-pointers came off an assist, and he dribbled once before a three the entire game.

Forbes does have some limitations on offense. He’s just 6’3” and not the most muscular guy, so most of the time attacking the rim is not his forte.

It’s not that Forbes can’t put the ball on the floor, it’s just that he should probably pull up for a jumper or make a pass before he meets somebody much bigger at the rim.

The 24 points were impressive, but the rebounds made this a particularly special night for Forbes. To be perfectly honest, it wasn’t like he was a mini Charles Barkley out there. He was certainly active in crashing the boards, but most of the rebounds more or less fell in his lap.

The most contested rebound of the night was his tenth, and that’s because he practically ripped it away from rookie teammate Chimezie Metu to secure the double double.

Still, a guard securing “meaningless” rebounds can be useful for the team. First, it does cap off the defensive possession. Additionally, it allows that guard to immediately start the transition break and create opportunities for his teammates.

On most other nights, it would be a stretch to say Bryn Forbes had the best game in the NBA. On this night, however, there were only two other games. Kawhi Leonard missed the game in Los Angeles with a hip injury, Chris Paul put up an 11/10/11 triple double but shot just 2/12 from the floor, and Damian Lillard dropped 34 in a loss.

There will be other days to break down film on those other guys, but last night might be the only night in his career that belongs to Bryn Forbes.

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