SALT LAKE CITY — San Antonio Spurs center Jakob Poeltl had a career-high tying 20 points and a team high seven rebounds in the team's road loss to the Jazz.
It was Poeltl's best game as a Spur since being traded from Toronto in the offseason and a sign he could be starting to adjust with his new team.
“I think playing with a new team, playing with new teammates in a different system is definitely weird at first," said Poeltl to reporters following the Spurs' loss.
Poeltl's start to his Spurs career was rocky. He got the starting job three times early in the season only to find himself riding the bench games since. In October, he was averaging 2.0 points in 10 minutes and found himself being relegated to limited time on the court.
However, with the injury to Pau Gasol, Poeltl is needed more. His minutes have spiked as well as his contributions to the team.
He is averaging 16.3 minutes in the last seven games and in the last five games, he is averaging 10.8 points per game.
Said Poeltl, "I have to get used to my new teammates, how to play with them, how they like to play, what can I change to my game to adapt to that."
Outside of his big game against Utah, Poeltl is among team statistical leaders. He leads the team in field goal percentage at 64.8, second in offensive rebounds (2.2) and is one of the team's better road players averaging 7.3 points, 4.9 rebounds and shoots 63.6 percent from the field in seven games.
Add his hot start to December (13.0 points. 85.7 percent field goal shooting, and 5.0 rebounds in two games), and Poeltl has quietly been improving his game.
"I feel like I am figuring it out, I am actually feeling really comfortable out there right now," said Poeltl.