Spurs' Romeo Langford making most of rare good health – San Antonio Express-News

San Antonio Spurs’ Romeo Langford (35) drives against New Orleans Pelicans’ Devonte’ Graham during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Dec. 2, 2022, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)
Spurs forward Romeo Langford is making the most of a rare stretch of good health.
The 23-year-old Indiana alumnus has been plagued by injuries since entering the league as the 14th overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, including missing 11 games already this season due to a toe ailment, a stint in health and safety protocols and a back issue.
But Saturday marked his season-high eighth consecutive game, and he’s taking advantage of his good fortune, having scored 10 or more points in four of the last five games, including a career-high 19 in the 115-111 win over the Heat on Saturday in Miami.
Langford’s previous high was 16, a number he reached twice, including most recently as a Boston Celtic in a win over the Phoenix Suns on Dec. 31, 2021.
“It feels good to have a game like this, to feel somewhat getting back into the swing of things, especially with how my career has gone with injuries,” Langford said Saturday. “I am happy and I am blessed.”
In 29 minutes against the Heat, Langford hit 7 of 10 from the field, 1 of 2 from 3-point territory and 4 of 4 from the free throw stripe. The fourth-year pro also had six rebounds, one steal and one block in his second consecutive start.
“He’s got a good quick step,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “He can go by people, and he can also hit the offensive boards.”
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SAN ANTONIO, TX – NOVEMBER 25: Jeremy Sochan #10 of the San Antonio Spurs fights for close ball with Kendrick Jones #30 of the Los Angeles Lakers in the first half at AT&T Center on November 25, 2022 in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)
San Antonio Spurs Zach Collins (23) reacts after taking a hard foul on Thursday, Dec. 8, 2022 at the AT&T Center. San Antonio Spurs defeated the Houston Rockets 118-109. Collins did return to the game.
With center Jakob Poeltl (knee) and forward Jeremy Sochan (quad) sidelined for the fifth game in a row, it fell to Zach Collins and backup big man Charles Bassey to be the primary defenders against the Heat’s Bam Adebayo.
Aided by their teammates, the duo did a capable job of limiting the Miami big man, holding him to 12 points on 5-of-11 shooting after he entered the game averaging 21.2 points per game.
In his seven games before facing the Spurs, Adebayo averaged nearly 27 points and recorded three games of 30-plus points.
“We tried to make him shoot over us,” Collins said. “He’s a really good free throw shooter (85.8 percent), so we knew we just had to stay down. Going up against scoring bigs recently, we got up off or feet more than we should have, so we just wanted to stay down and contest those jump shots.”
Said Langford, “The bigs did a real good job, Charles and Zach. Guarding him one on one is hard to do. We knew that coming in, so it wasn’t just a job for Zach and Charles or whoever was on him. We did a pretty good job of (team defense).”
The Spurs haven’t announced a timeline for the return of Poeltl and Sochan, but Sochan expressed optimism before Saturday’s game that he will return soon.
“I’m just going with the flow, but I feel like it will be soon,” the rookie said.
The outlook for Poeltl is murkier.
Asked after Saturday’s game if Poeltl is getting closer to returning, Popovich said, “I’m just really not sure. I could say yes, but I’m really not sure.”
Twitter: Tom_Orsborn
After three years as a part-time employee covering mainly high school sports, Tom Orsborn became a full-time employee at the Express-News in October 1985. He’s covered the Dallas Cowboys and the NFL since 1999 and has also covered the Spurs, the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, and a variety of other events, including 14 Super Bowls.


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