FREE AGENCY

Patty Mills re-signed.

Jonathan Simmons is going to date around before he commits, and given his origins that is good. Let him go and see what the market will pay for his services and if the Spurs will match it.

Given the lack of offers for LaMarcus Aldridge and the strange trades (Paul George to OKC for nothing, Jimmy Butler to Minny for nothing, CP3 to Houston for consolation prizes) there is no obvious move that makes the Spurs significantly better. In fact, coming back with the same team keeps the Spurs’ institutional advantage that other teams mixing in new players lack.

The looming Warriors Question is unanswerable. No move outside of signing LeBron James makes any team serious contenders for dethroning Golden State. Andre Igoudala taking a peek at offers is the first crack in the dynasty-in-progress and injuries, random occurrences, and the disease of more can always happen.

LaMarcus Aldridge being anything less than 100% committed to the team is an issue, but there is no move to make at the moment. And so we wait.

2017 WCF G1: Warriors 113 – Spurs 111

The Spurs were up 25-points and after Kawhi Leonard left after another ankle injury, the Warriors stormed back with an 18-0 run and stole the game from the shorthanded crew to win 113-111.

Pop said the Spurs let it “slip away” and blamed some turnovers and poor play for blowing the lead. In the second half the Spurs were outscored like 58-33 after Kawhi left the game. They struggled without Tony and Kawhi as primary ball handlers/ rim attacking threats. LaMarcus Aldridge struggled (especially compared to his 11-point first quarter performance) and the KD and Curry made shots.

Aside from that, game one was a test of some theories.

Theory 1: Layoffs Do Not Hurt You

Result: Wrong. The most talented team ever assembled came out of the gate struggling, tossing turnovers, and missing shots (and free throws!).

Theory 2: Spurious’ WCF Preview How-To-Beat-GSW-Guide

It can be found here, but we will recap it now.

  1. Draymond needs to hurt his team
  2. Warrior’s Carelessness
  3. Kawhi & Aldridge need to be great
  4. Everyone needs to get hot

When the Spurs were up 25, these boxes were checked. Draymond was not destroying his team with technicals (that came after Kawhi left) but he was not his normal self. The Warriors were sluggish and turned the ball over often, and missed shots. Kawhi and LaMarcus were outstanding. LMA looked like the guy in Houston for game six. Kawhi looked like unguardable and mixed in a of playmaking. While Patty was cold, Manu had 9 first half points, Jonathan Simmons was hitting jumpers and Danny Green was 2-of-2 from three while playing good defense. Things were going perfectly.

Theory 3: The Spurs could win a quarter and a half if spotted a 23-point lead without Kawhi.

Nope.

The Game

Let us be real with ourselves. This was likely the best chance the team had at stealing a win. The Spurs had the element of surprise and all of the luck … until the worst possible luck.

The game plan involved some really clever attacks on the Warriors substitution patterns, that allowed the squad to put in lineups that could help off shooters and attack poor defenders. Most, if not all, of the breaks went San Antonio’s way, including turnovers and poor shooting from Klay Thompson.

In the end the other Spurs were not enough of a match for Kevin Durant and Steph Curry. That is not something we can be angry about. Down the stretch Golden State relied on Steph and KD to make plays and they did. The Spurs relied on Jonathan Simmons and LaMarcus Aldridge.

It was not so simple as I am putting it here. Manu was great down the stretch, and the Warriors were smart and disciplined enough to recognize he was the most likely go-to playmaker. When Jonathan Simmons missed his pull-up 14′ jump shot, he was the second option. Shaun Livingston denied Ginobili the ball, and Simmons was left to make a play.

The Warriors made a concerted effort to unstick their playmakers and get good looks for their guys. Steph said they “simplified” things, and when Zaza abused Patty on a series of simple pick-n-rolls that was evident.

When Pop inserted Kyle Anderson for some quality offense (he was great on both ends) they quickly went to Kevin Durant. Kyle had nothing for him.

This week Stephen Jackson said that the defensive scouting report on teams is what makes the Spurs great. They are the best-prepared team in the league. As you might imagine, this is partly why the Spurs can turn some of the weakest individual defenders into useful parts of the best defense in the league.

Kyle Anderson made some quality steals but cannot stay in front of a locked-in Kevin Durant.

The Spurs are consistently good each year because they maximize the talent they have but superior talent often wins. One reason the Warriors are so good is that they also maximize their talent. They also have superior talent.

Kawhi

Obviously the chances of beating Golden State in game two are drastically reduced if he is hurt. Everyone has repeated the similarly very obvious point that the Spurs would have likely stat him for the second game if they managed to steal the first.

The organization will make the best decision for his future health, and prepare the team as best as possible for the series. I do not buy the thinking that Pop risked his health by keeping him out there after he first tweaked it. He had to have gotten the okay to play through it. He looked fine in the minute leading up to the jump shot. Also, given what we saw transpire after he left the court, simply sitting him for health reasons would have meant a similar result if he does not ever play.

Injury risk is part of the game.

Aldridge

I have said previously that the team is the team. The decision to roll with Aldridge and his faults was made two years ago when they gave him a big contract. When he is good, he is one of the best in the game. That first quarter explosion was the kind of thing that only a handful of big men in the game can produce. Unfortunately he is not always at that level. He is not ultra reliable late and he showed that with the disastrous 4th quarter.

LMA 2nd Half:

11 points on 4/13 shooting, 4 rebounds, 5 turnovers.

He was 2/9 in the final quarter, including the missed three to tie. Gone was the aggressive, attacking Aldridge and in his place was the one resorting to a fadeaway too often.

The Other Guys

Dejounte Murray is going to be really good. He is not scared of the moment and played big in his minutes. He still needs a jump shot and to add some more strength so he is not bumped off the ball so often but he is a quality dude.

Patty Mills was bad, but that happens. Danny Green was good in spots. If Kawhi cannot go the only hope is that both of these guys are on. Everyone was kind of shook after Kawhi left, and I appreciate Manu for saying as much. The Warriors hinted at this when praising the crowd “they [Spurs] felt the crowd, too.” If we are going to beat up on LaMarcus, we should also point out that Danny Green allowed Steph Curry to walk by him for a bucket to make it five. Danny also missed the potential tying three right before that.

Jonathan Simmons is having a great week. He won rightful praise for going against Harden, and had a solid outing this afternoon. He cannot bang with Draymond for long periods, but in doses he is the kind of game-changer we all thought he would be.

Pau was bad. He drew lots of cheap fouls and so had to sit, reducing the Spurs’ rebounding edge. He still is not contributing much of anything offensively aside from ball movement, but against this team that is not enough. He needs to get buckets against the likes of Zaza or else it could be Dewayne Dedmon time.

Manu nearly pulled the game out for the Spurs. Mark Jackson blamed Manu’s effort for the three that Steph hit to tie at 106. GSW got two offensive rebounds and then the bucket. Every time I watch the sequence I think of it differently. He could have boxed out better but long rebound are tough to predict. Especially from guys like Curry and Durant. On the other end he was the only one that could reliably create, and scored twice on Draymond, and mixed in a dunk on Shaun Livingston. While it is fun to watch Manu do Manu things, if we have to turn back the clock to 2007 for this series, it is definitely over.

Game Two

I expected a lull in this one, and a strong comeback effort from GSW. The lull was longer than expected but I think Kawhi could have stemmed the tide a bit for the team late. In that alternate universe the Spurs are up 1-0 and facing an angry Warrior team. In this universe the Spurs are down 0-1 and facing that same angry and locked-in Warrior team sans Kawhi.

Game three was always going to be the best chance of a Spur victory and this game would have only been icing. The scary part of Golden State was evident in this one, however. That 18-0 run was the kind of eruption that put away Portland and Utah, but merely cut the deficit in this one. I do not see the Spurs building another 25-point lead to protect them from that roster next game. Klay Thompson is due to explode soon. He missed a few wide-open looks from deep that should have put the Spurs to bed sooner that we saw.

Kawhi And Harden No Shows: Spurs 114 Rockets 75

First, let us get this out of the way:

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

One of my earliest Spurs basketball memories was the infamous 1995 Spurs-Rockets tussle. This, especially after the game one destruction, was sweet. The Rockets and Spurs have avoided each other over the last 20+ years mostly because Houston has been fairly poor. With the Mavericks returning to near-irrelevance, it is fun to be Kings of Texas again.

While I predicted the Spurs to win in six and in doing so questioning everyone and everything, I both fully expected a loss tonight but would not have been surprised by a win. As much as I believe in the Spurs Way, talent is important and the Spurs are down their own MVP candidate. As it was, this series began with San Antonio questioning the heart and ability of LaMarcus Aldridge in a 25+ point loss, and ended with the Rockets questioning the heart and ability of James Harden in a 39-point loss.

On twitter, the argument is already being made that this series turned in the last minute of Game 5. This is true and unsurprising because that is basketball. Entire fortunes, careers, and legacies have and will be made on the bounce of the ball 1.

Playoff basketball is also very different than regular season ball and we have seen this most obviously in the Rockets’ performance this postseason against both the Thunder and the Spurs.

The postseason is tougher (obviously) because teams are better, more focused, and time to adjust. The Spurs took away some of the bread-and-butter stuff the Rockets like — the fouls on James Harden — and dared the 6-8th man to beat them consistently. Those other guys did beat San Antonio in games one and four, but they did not over the series.

That is both the beautiful and frustrating thing about a seven-game series. Any random guy can get hot for a game and beat you, but it is less likely that that same random guy will get hot for four out of seven.

Game Six was about James Harden’s no-show when Kawhi was out with a bum ankle. We all had a feeling that Pop was going to sit Kawhi for a (probably) seventh and deciding game. The Rockets were favored to win and the best we could probably hope for was a strong first half before the Rockets’ superior depth took over.

But it never happened. James Harden was in a funk 2 and the rest of the Houston squad had nothing for Jonathan Simmons and LaMarcus Aldridge in the second quarter.

Pundits nearly universally characterized the Spurs and Rockets as one-man shows. The Spurs were (overly) dependent on Kawhi for points and the Rockets (by design) reliant on James Harden’s ability to create. The real story was that the Spurs do rely on Kawhi because he is so good and efficient. The Rockets hit another gear once James Harden sits and the bench mob could come in and obliterate the opposing second team.

Eric Gordon, Lou Williams, and the rest of the Houston guys were bad more often this series than they were good. There is the story. When Kawhi was hurt in game five until the buzzer sounded at the end of the fourth in game six, Jonathan Simmons and the others outplayed the entire Rockets team.

Welcome Back, LaMarcus

On Zach Lowe’s podcast, Jeff Van Gundy mentioned LMA has been shooting off-balance. After the game LaMarcus said he benefited from getting so many touches and was able to find his rhythm much easier. I am sure it is combination of both of these. If Ryan Anderson was able to bother Aldridge so much in the first game, I imagine Draymond Green will shut him down in the next series. That said, maybe a different offensive approach will help solve the great defensive question that is GSW. That is for another blog post, however.

Right now, let us appreciate the Aldridge we last saw a year ago in the second game of the Thunder series. He scored 40 then, and got 34 tonight. His jumper was falling, which makes everything easier, but he also was scoring within the restricted area.

He has improved from his poor game one performance in each game, but tonight he finally put up the numbers we thought would be required nightly to win the series.

Jonathan Simmons

If Tony Parker was the surprise of the first round (that sounds ridiculous but that is where he is in his career), then Simmons is the star of this one. He is a fan favorite because of his hustle and his highlight reels, but he spends more than a few weeks in Pop’s doghouse throughout the season (Dewayne Dedmon does also). This week, we saw the best of J Simms, as he did his best Kawhi impression defending James Harden and getting buckets (18 points!) on the other end.

If you told me our small forward would hold Harden to to one bucket and about 8 turnovers to end game five and start game six while also contributing huge buckets on the other end I would have been unsurprised. “Yes, Kawhi is great. That is what I expect.” That is how good Jonathan Simmons was these last two games.

When he raises his three point percentage about 10 points, he will be really good.

Quick GSW Thoughts

As well as our favorite team played tonight, a good portion of the last two wins were because of Rockets flaws. Golden State has few flaws, and those few are masked by otherworldly talent.

Steph Curry is prone to tossing carless passes like James Harden, but Klay Thompson will not have as many no-show games as Eric Gordon. Danny Green got roasted for buckets by Lou Williams and Eric Gordon in game four, that is going to be Klay Thompson, and Kevin Durant (whom Kawhi could not stop last year).

The Spurs blew out the Warriors in the first game of the year but GSW has gelled since, and managed to comeback from a 20-point deficit early in March. That was sans-KD. He is back, and looking like the un-guardable 7-footer he is. The Jazz were something like Spurs-lite, and only managed to be down 10 after some really impressive stretches. The Spurs have more all-around talent than Utah — Aldridge is more offensively talented than Gobert, and Kawhi is more athletic than Gordon Hayward and equal in shooting — but is coming off a tough series and dealing with injuries.

Golden State is heavily favored to win the next round for many good reasons. While the Spurs’ defense should slow them down, the question will be if SA can manage enough scoring. Manu mentioned this in the post-game.

Last year the Spurs held the 73-win Dubs to some of their lowest scoring outputs all year, and set the blueprint for guarding the Steph/Draymond pick-and-roll. They switched Aldridge out to Steph and trusted him to slow Curry enough. For all the criticism the Spurs have gotten during this Rockets series, they held Houston to three of their lowest scoring outputs all year.

The question in the next round will be if SA can score enough on the switch-everything length the Warriors have.

Right now, let us enjoy the tough series win.


  1. Do the Spurs three-peat in the mid-2000s if Derek Fisher misses that .4 shot? What if Bob Horry misses the three against Detroit? He missed a very similar one in 2003 after the Lakers made a 16-point comeback to make it a 2-point deficit with seconds to go. 
  2. I am being very generous here. I have seen some people say it was point shaving, poison, sickness, injury, and more. 

Election Week Delayed Me; Now Some Thoughts

This was a tough week to deal with. Aside from that, the Spurs had lost back-to-back at home.

Against the Rockets at home, there was another first half deficit to over come, some poor defensive rotations, and a chance to win the game at the end.

Right now we are falling into one of two camps: the first is the It’s Early And Everyone Is Hurt the other is Getting Used to All The New Guys. There is some overlap here and I am in that Venn diagram middle.

Everyone is excited about the starting lineup getting together for the first time and the real season beginning.

All that is well and good and probably true. I do not want to put a lot of stock in this transition, but it does concern me that the Spurs are not winning the games they won last year, the games they should win, and instead are giving away large early leads.

Some of it can be blamed on the schedule, but there is not a one-to-one thing going on is there? The Utah home game was inverted, and so we cannot blame the loss on travel, and the Clippers were on a back-to-back also.

So . . .

Right now the GSW look better and more cohesive after Curry found his touch. They still are missing fully operational Klay Thompson, but they are winning. The Spurs are losing. They are struggling with non-Spursy plays.

Houston

On Wednesday the Spurs went down early, fought back, battled back in the third and lost on a last second shot.

There was a sequence in the third quarter where Kahwi was saving himself guarding Corey Brewer and then did not attack James Harden on the offensive end. Sean Elliott noticed it and said it was a missed opportunity. It is the kind of thing that LeBron James would have noticed, with his ridiculous Hoops IQ, and a thing to watch Leonard improve.

There were little things where he was trying that one hand floater and it was just a little off all night. Still, he scored 34.

Gasol increasingly looks like a liability, as Pop had to sit him for comebacks a few games already. I am a little worried about this. This is the kind of thing that is exaggerated in the postseason.

The little things Danny Green did were great to see. He only went 2-8 from three, but ad two straight great defensive plays early in the fourth that were sorely missing from the early Spurs run.

The Spurs were sloppy / unlucky all night and so were the Rockets. James Harden Harden’d and that killed them. He was efficient and got other guys shots, while our guys were struggling for the easy stuff.

Detroit

The story was Gasol getting 21 points, but he had a more even matchup, as Andre Drummond is a more traditional center than any other team has. Still, the Spurs managed to look a bit disjointed as the second unit was weird, and went into half down three.

I liked that there were not as many obvious transition defense breakdowns, but then again Detroit is not really the type to get those. They are lengthy, and tough, and that kind of thing is the Spurs’ strength.

Tony reappeared, giving all of us Parker skeptics a few pangs of regret. He has lost a step, still is too streaky with his jumper, and probably is not as amenable to losing the limelight to Kawhi as he lets on. He still knows this system and can run this team better than Patty Mills.

Bala Pat is faster and has a much sweeter shooting stroke, but he lacks the patience and change of pace that Tony has. It is a subtle thing, but things are a little calmer when TP is in.

Speaking of the old guard, Manu hit back to back threes in the third to push the lead to 8. The first he ste the offense, calming the team after a stretch of frantic play (play that he was a part of). He posted LMA via Simmons, then hit the catch and shoot rhythm three. The second, he did a classic Manu wherein he pump faked 84 times and fired an off-balance shot going to his left.

The game was close but not really in doubt. Tobias Harris attempted to cut the Spurs lead to six but was rejected by Gasol. This is telling in that Gasol was not able to defend Chris Paul or James Harden at the rim. But Tobias Harris is obviously not in their league. So it goes. Spurs win.

at Houston

Shea Serrano wrote a bit about this game through the prism of watching it with his kids.

My earliest memories were watching the Spurs vs Rockets with my little brother and the both of us listening to Stan Kelly’s nasally voice say “2 minutes!”. Good times.

The Spurs brought out the year’s projected starting line up of Tony, Danny, Kawhi, LMA, and Gasol and it looked good early. Everyone was surprisingly fresh which continued that weird streak of unexpected performances in games.

James Harden is good.

You can tell a really good player by how open his teammates get in his presence. Kawhi Leonard is getting to that point, but right now he still gets enough single coverage to do what he likes, wich partly explains his remarkable consistency to work these dudes nightly. Since he has been able to create his own shot — last two years basically — he has taken his game to new heights but has not quite gotten to the Harden levels offensively. This is fine, but just evident when Harden’s forays into the lane focus the entire defense and create wide open shots for role players.

Yes, Harden is light years away from KL defensively.

The Spurs controlled this game the entire way and Parker’s presence was the big story.

“He gets us organized,” Popovich said. “He hasn’t been with us so much this season. He’s just a stability factor, and that was a big help.” Pop

Clipped

I do not consider the Clippers a contender, and have not for a few years. Because of that I am always surprised that they give the Spurs so much trouble. My surprise is probably my own fault for underrating them. That said, I think it is more a matter of matching up than it is pure talent. For whatever reason, the Clips are blown out by the Warriors — even this KD version. In this way to early moment, the only way LAC is getting to the Finals is if the Spurs do the dirty work of eliminating Golden State for them first.

It is really way early, but if we were overly reasonable we wouldn’t be watching regular season basketball at all.

The Game

The Spurs started out unsustainably hot. Gasol and Aldridge hit threes, for goodness sake. Sure, they can hit midrange jumpers with consistency, and have range to 23 feet but if we are relying on them to rain threes on squads we are done. It was good to see the squad looking crisp in that 10-0 run to start. Then Doc Rivers called timeout and LA went on a run of their own.

The offense didn’t look as crisp after that, partly helped by the refs’ tendency to not give Kawhi the contact fouls he has been feasting on, but the real concern for everyone was the transition defense. Chris Paul put on a show in that first quarter in which the Clips scored 39. He did that classic point guard thing where he led the break and found a trailing Blake Griffin for dunks. Multiple times.

Concerning Things And Matchups

The Clips match up well because Blake and Jordan are about equal to the Spurs’ big men. So the Spurs then have no comparative advantage inside. Jordan’s size and strength make it tough for Aldridge and Gasol to bully their way to buckets, and Gasol. On the other end, Blake can work over anyone we put on him on the perimeter especially when his jumper is on. Oh yeah and I mentioned him running free for fast break buckets. All of this is helped by Chris Paul, who is savvy enough to make up for the low basketball IQ that some of the Clippers players have. Hell, he makes Deandre Jordan a threat offensively.

All that said, the Spurs are not as bad as they played. While both teams played the night before, San Antonio was the only squad missing two starters. The defensive rotations are still slightly delayed because of confusion, and the substitution patterns are a work in progress.

When Danny Green and Tony get back some of those things will work themselves out. Tony Parker is not an All-Star threat anymore, but he still knows the defensive rotations inside and out. Meanwhile everyone else is getting better and these kinds of games are invaluable in producing the deep benches that the Spurs are famous for.

Unscientific List of Guys Who Caught My Eye Tonight

  • Lapprovíttola is fun to watch. He has no fear, and is only going to be a bigger part of the Spurs going forward.

  • Jonathan Simmons really gets lost defensively sometimes. All those highlights you see of him do not show the reasons he was in the dog house last year. That kind of stuff. I still like him but I still noticed it

  • Every time Bertāns shoots it I know it will go in. I am surprised when it does not. I like Dāvis Bertāns.

  • I know this is a slight contradiction but LMA was 3/3 from 3. This is a return to his Portland days when he was hitting them regularly.

Youngins Getting Some Run

This blog was intrigued with Dewayne Dedmond. He possessed the athletic ability and soft hands that is prized in the modern NBA. Offensively he can catch and finish at the rim and on defense he is an off-the-ball shot blocker.

Tonight he displayed a jumper that I honestly did not know existed. I am liking the addition more every day.

Our Spurs played their home opener and had the routine first game mistakes. By that I mean the clock operator messed up to begin the game. The squad never really looked threatened as Patty Mills basically led the charge as Tony and Manu rested. Kawhi put on a show later as the second half began and let the rest of the squad determine the game.

A fun sequence: Anthony Davis pulling a turnaround jumper on LMA, and Aldridge immediately returning that with one of his own on the other end. Nicolas Laprovittola had himself a game.* He showed flashes of young Manu, taking guys off the dribble with crafty hesitation moves and one-handed scoops in traffic.

*_Did you know he is one of only two Spurs to ever wear 27?_

David Lee is a blog-favorite now. I hated his over-hustle with every team he has played for but really appreciate it on our squad. He is one of those guys. If you have watched him you know he has more than a motor. His touch and his passing ability are well-known throughout the league and put him in good company on this squad. In the late third/early fourth shift he managed to drop a nice dime to Laprovittola on a give/go and later Nico found him on a ridiculously perfect outlet pass. Lee leaked out on a three and beat the defense deep.

David West was really good in spurts for the team last season, but count me among those that were nonplussed to see him leave. David Lee is not the swiftest defender, but again the hustle, the skill, and the basketball IQ are perfect for this second unit that needs more scoring aside from Patty shooting and Jonathan Simmons dunking. Effort points count the same as Kawhi’s midrange jumpers.

In the fourth quarter we saw Murray, Forbes, Bertans, Simmons and Laprovittola close it out and there was some fun had. Bertans showed some defense, his shooting, while Jonathan Simmons enjoyed being the focal point of the offense.

The Spurs are playing well and NO was coming off no rest so really the only way they were losing this was if something awful happened. Did we learn much tonight? Yes, a little. The beginnings of the next generation of Spurs regulars are getting some great time in a winning environment. If you have to learn on the job, this is the way to do it and not like Kyrie Irving did or Brow is doing now. Without the right attitude, it can be soul-crushing.

Next up: at Heat 10.30.16

Jonathan Simmons Show

Raise your had if you saw the Spurs obliterating the Warriors at Oracle Arena AKA ROARacle, AKA the second toughest place to play in the league over the last two regular seasons, AKA the spot where San Antonio was hosed by 41 combined last year.

Outside of the crazies, no one saw that coming. Privately I said a 35 point win … for the Warriors.

Quick And Dirty Analysis

The Spurs used their size (two 7-footers!) to bully the Dubs for offensive rebounds. And on defense, they pressured shots at the rim. The stars on both teams were bright — KD had 27, Draymond Green had 18, Kawhi had 35 (career high), LMA had 26 and 14. But the Spurs role players stepped up. Jonathan Simmons had himself the game of his life, scoring on his first six shots and blocking reigning two-time MVP Steph Curry on a chase down in the first half.

Implications For The Rest of the Year

The Spurs played hard and were locked in the way a team trying to prove something usually is. The Warriors played like they won the title and had a ring ceremony to begin the night. That is only somewhat reaasonable since they probably felt like they won the off-season championship by signing Kevin Durant. That is understandable.

They were nigh-guardable offensively in the first half. Kevin Durant showed signs of being the defensive powerhouse that he displayed in last year’s playoffs, but the sheer size of the Spurs lineup, combined with the hustle of the role guys suggested that the Warriors have a book on them now. Go big, beat them up inside, have an MVP candidate run the offense (LeBron, Kawhi, Russ).

For the good guys, everything was coming up Spurs … unless you look at Pau Gasol’s +/-, which was a ridiculous -13 for the game. In a 29-point blowout win, that is completely insane. The Dubs targeted his defense nearly every time he was on the floor and found success more often than not. This was all as feared. He is slow laterally, and while he challenged shots at the rim, he is not useful enough in other situations to make him worth playing. The thinking was that he could balance those defensive deficiencies with offense. It was a reasonable assumption, given that last year’s Spurs could not score worth a damn against this GSW team. Later against OKC it was similar.

Tonight, none of that mattered.

Other

That Jonathan Simmons unnecessary dunk was disrespectful hhahahaha. I loved it. No one can tsk tsk the dude because going hard all the time is how he got to this point. Anything else is being untrue to himself. Dunk on ’em, Simmons.

Summer League Dreams 2016

Spurs Summer League Roundup — an updated post wherein we discover the joys of the summer league.


July 7 — Spurs rookie Dejounte Murray is pretty damned good. He had himself a good game against the Celtics in his Summer League debut. The best play was that lob from Summer League hero Kyle Anderson.

https://twitter.com/spurs/status/751215672831516672

DM finished with 21 points on 8/12 shooting. He was able to get to the basket and draw fouls, and even showed some range with some deep twos. Unfortunately, the Spurs blew a six point lead with a minute remaining to fall to 2-1 in the Utah SL. Bryn Forbes and Jonathan Simmons were cold this game, combining for 8/26 from the field, including Forbes’ 1/6 from three.

We’ll see more of him as the Las Vegas Summer League begins. With this debut, and Kyle Anderson and Jonathan Simmons’ quality play, the future of the Spurs 2016/17 bench looks bright. This crew will not score as easily, but this should translate into some good minutes as they spell the Olds on the squad. Also, was Antonio Daniels the last Spurs point guard that could dunk?


July 5th — Well Simmons and Anderson is a nice duo for Summer League dominance. Simms had 35(!) and Kyle had 23 playing something like a small-ball 4. Late fourth quarter malaise aside — where the duo kind of went cold (along with the rest of the Summer Spurs) and allowed the Ben Simmons-less Sixers to storm back, the squads looked infinitely better than their Philadelphia counterparts. Arcidiacano looked okay, but nothing special at point guard, while Bryn Forbes lit things up from deep. He had 23 points on 8/10 shooting including 4/5 from deep. That’s the kind of thing we want. He’s on a guaranteed contract and that looks nice right now.

Pop apparently told him to do what got him to this point: shoot. He seems okay with that prospect:

“I don’t think there’s any anxiety,” Forbes said. “This is what I’ve been doing my whole life. I know what I can do.”


July 4th — As everyone was busy setting off explosives, Kyle Anderson and Jonathan Simmons dominated a squad of largely undrafted players on the Jazz. KA finished with 25, and Simmons with 18. We won’t see the man we want to see — Dajounte Murray — until possibly Las Vegas summer league, says Spurs Nation’s Jabari Young