On Saturday Slow-Mo pump-faked Kevin Durant out of the picture frame and got a lay in. It was a clever, savvy move from a guy that is more famous for his relative lack of athleticism. Kyle Anderson is famously slow, and yet is crafty enough to get a bucket in the NBA against some of the best defenders in the league.

Last night he pump-faked a Jazz defender and stepped through only to lose control of the ball and then kind of heave it at the rim. The ref saw a foul some place and rewarded him with two free throws. On the next possession, noted old person Manu Ginobili tried a step-back-into-pump-fake that was swallowed up by the Jazz defender. He handed the ball to Kyle and Kyle tried a pump-fake and the Utah-an did not flinch.

The jig, as it were, is up.

It will not break the internet to know that the really good NBA players — the ones with commercials and the shoe deals and the banners hanging in the rafters — are the ones that can get their own shot against very capable, very smart and savvy defenders.

Something like ten years ago, Manu Ginobili could get off something better than he attempted last night. In that time, a Kyle Anderson type of guy would be waiting to capitalize on his primary defender’s split attention instead of his sole focus.

This is the problem with an injured team. Kawhi will get the biggest bucks because he can get his own shot and stop guys from getting theirs. Aldridge got a four year deal because — despite his attitude and playoff performance — he can get buckets.

If and when everyone is ready and healthy to make a final playoff push, it will be extremely difficult. For all the jokes everyone had about the Cavs, the Spurs are not really in a much better position. The Cavs are hoping to get things together in time to stave off a newly rejuvenated Toronto and a tough Boston to get another shot at the Cavs.

The Spurs are hoping everyone is back and ready enough to throw off the offensive  machine that is the Rockets to prepare for the immovable object that is the Warriors.

Unlike the Cavs, however, the Spurs do get some benefit from all this. Kyle Anderson is getting huge minutes and prime opportunity to add to his crafty skill set (a la Diaw, even though Boris was a better athlete in his prime) for when it is most useful — in the playoffs against a second unit.

Last night was frustrating but there is little that can be done with so many injuries. This can be read on repeat after every shaky possession and every shaky performance.

Hurry Kawhi, you are our only hope.

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.


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