Murray Is Going To Be A Star When He Can Go 40 Minutes

Remember when I wrote that progress was the goal? Yes, well this was also one of those times where everyone wanted to measure this Spurs team against the latest incarnation of a LeBron SuperTeam.

The Spurs came in with a great offensive rating and the Lakers, thanks to their length — and really Danny Green and Anthony Davis — came into tonight allowing sometime around 92.3 on defense. The Spurs hit that number tonight, sort of confirming the importance of a quality defense.

There were a fair number of missed shots that usually go in — that is to say, no one was unusually bottled up beyond LMA getting bullied and bumped and probably fouled a number of times. Bryn Forbes was ungodly bad from deep and that was basically the difference.

There is an argument to be made that this was just an off night shooting the ball and that is all the difference between the 5-1 Lakers and the 4-2 Spurs.

On the other hand, it is troubling that Aldridge and DeRozan combined for only 22 on 24 shots between them. DeRozan was off from everywhere and the aggression came from your star Dejounte Murray.

This, like that Cleveland game three years ago, will be another milestone in his progression. He got easy buckets because of steals and also crossed over Caldwell-Pope before getting a sweet lefty scoop shot+1 over Bron.

His minutes are still restricted and so then are the Spurs in that regard. Nate Jones tweeted this:

That is quality analyzing . LMA, and all big men, have some trouble with length. Javale and Anthony Davis do not make it easy to get the normal buckets he does. Poeltl was even more flustered, and slow to get the roll moves on the screens.

The length bothered San Antonio all game and it would improve in a playoff series as the team got used to it. On a Sunday night in early November? Well it led to easy buckets.

Murray led a furious little comeback himself before Kentavious Caldwell-Pope hit two ridiculous buckets to put the Lakers permanently ahead. The Spurs are still searching for someone not named Forbes to get hot from deep — which makes that Bertans deal hurt more — and even Bryn was cold tonight. He shot 1/8 from deep on looks he has been happy to get all season.

In the progress meter, we can call this one a success. The Lakers are more talented but the Spurs were right there, and should play better in better circumstances.

The Lakers however, are ridiculously talented and Bryn is happy to play Robin to AD’s Batman. The real threat? Well it was Spurs-nemisis Dwight Howard getting huge buckets all game long. He finished with 14 and 13, including 4 big offensive rebounds.

Spurs, Dejounte Are Back In Action

Dejounte Murray is fast and quick and long and young and it is weird to have someone like that on the Spurs. San Antonio still feels like it has a bunch of fogies, that even the knowledge we have — SAS has a ton of young guys — still doesn’t always translate to Feel.

DJ sliced through for buckets and got steals and for a second I allowed myself to think of what he and Kawhi would have done in the same backcourt tonight.

Instead, we saw him get a nice 18 on 7/10 shooting. He was in a competition with Bryn Forbes for leading scorer until LaMarcus’ late three pushed him to the top.

The Knicks should not have been much of a problem but you have got to like that the Spurs played defense in spurts, when their likely starting rotation was in, and that they scored 37 in two different quarters.

This all without a fully functional Demar. He missed free throw tosses in warm up. For a long stretch of the game he has only a single point, and went through a stretch where the Knicks were sitting on his drive-and-kick thing, stealing a handful of passes.

He had four turnovers.

The essence of a team, however, is that it is more than one guy. The role of primary scorer is one that multiple guys filled. Five guys were in double figures and Derrick White had 9.

Demar closed the game out with some drives and created some free throw line trips. He will get his rhythm and not look so out of sorts and the Spurs should be a little more dangerous.

Summer League Dreams 17: Forbes-ing

Bryn Forbes has always been very intriguing. He is a sharpshooter in a relative slump for the year. He has not had a memorable Spurs-moment and is not the shooter of the future the average fan thinks of — that would be Davis Bertans. Forbes has managed to hang around the organization for the season, which indicates the staff like what he can brings.

That was the stage for tonight’s performance where Bryn looked like the guy from Baylor. He torched the net and displayed some dribble-drive scoring ability — is it me or does he have a little of Derrick Rose-style wide steps?

While Dejounte Murray was not particularly impressive, he attacked the middle of the floor and found shooters. This is not a bad way to play. (Please know I write that knowingly). Blossomgame and White look solid, and Davis Bertans helped carry the load as we expected. We did not see too much off-the-bounce game from him as he predicted, but more of the same long-range bombing that we expected.

More as the summer league continues.

Summer League 2017

Last season Dejounte Murray was interesting. This season he is the old veteran and Derrick White is going to be the intriguing freshman. The Spurs released the Utah Summer League Roster this week.

Via Spurs.com:

Some observations

  • Murray is younger than Derrick White
  • So many 90s babies
  • Bertans, Forbes, Murray are the players to watch. Simmons balled out in two straight summer leagues and now is getting paid.
  • Another go ’round for Livio-Jean Charles
  • Will Hardy alone coaching. :(.