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Jakob Poeltl was “the other guy”acquired by the San Antonio Spurs in the deal that sent Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green to the Toronto Raptors.
However, “the other guy” knows what to expect from “the guy” — DeMar DeRozan.
The four-time All-Star guard has said frequently since the trade that he will be playing with a chip on his shoulder this season.
Poeltl, a 7-foot big man from Austria, provided a scouting report on what to expect from DeRozan this season… and it’s quite a bit.
“The great thing about him is what he has learned over these past few years, especially last year,” Poeltl said, according to a report by Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News. “He is really good about making reads now and taking over a game and (knowing) when to take over a game.
“Everyone knows he can take over a game and score 30, 40 points, but then you have games where the defense adjusts to him and he finds his teammates.”
DeRozan, 29, put that on display last season with Toronto, when he averaged a career-high 5.2 assists to go with 23.0 points.
In the 2016-17 season, DeRozan averaged more points (27.3), but fewer assists (3.9).
“He is a really intelligent player, knows how to read the game, knows how to get defenses to break down,” Poeltl said.
For his part, Poeltl, while glad to have DeRozan with him on his new team, is beginning to know some of his new teammates, who play for an organization that has made the playoffs for 21 consecutive seasons.
“Obviously, it helps to have a familiar face, a guy that I have played with over the last few years,” the 22-year-old Poeltl said. “I know how he plays basketball. He knows me. I think we play well together.
“But, at the same time. I have been here almost two weeks now, working out with these guys that I have never really played with before, and it was like really easy. I think there is at least for me so far, a natural chemistry. I am getting along with everybody on the court and off the court.”