It took four games and the junior varsity Spurs are starting to play like the big boy Spurs.
Playing all-around team basketball, the San Antonio Spurs (3-1) defeated the Milwaukee Bucks (0-4) to advance in the Las Vegas Summer League postseason tournament play.
The contest wasn’t close past the opening minutes. The Spurs never trailed during the course of the game, and, once Vander Blue entered the game off the bench, the team took off and extended their lead to 31-19 by the end of the first quarter.
Speaking of Vander Blue, it’s somewhat surprising he hadn’t got more playing time in the second and third games. He provided a spark off the bench, finishing the game with twelve points, second on the team.
Kyle Anderson, playing a little less than half of the game, led the team with 14 points, and tied the team high for +19 +/- rating.
The Bucks, led by Giannis Antetokounmpo’s 20 points, averaged .55 turnovers per every minute played, coming out to a total of 22 giveaways. Jabari Parker, the 2014 NBA Draft’s number two overall pick, contributed seven of those turnovers, and was never really able to get his offensive game going. On the opposite end, the Spurs only had half the turnovers the Bucks did.
In typical Spurs fashion, no player on the roster played more than twenty minutes, keeping the guys fresh for tomorrow’s championship bracket showdown against the Utah Jazz at 5:30 CST.
Keeping up with our player analysis here on Project Spurs, Deshaun Thomas struggled today. Thomas, with the heavy minute distribution today, only played 12:42 in today’s contest. He finished 1-5 shooting (although it could be argued that he tipped one rebound in amongst the masses of people), four fouls, and four rebounds. Where Thomas really struggled was on the defensive end. There were a few instances early in the game where the Greek Freak (Antetokounmpo) blew right by him when attacking the basket, even though Thomas was playing back, giving himself more freedom to catch up. Later in the game, on switches, Thomas was posted up against Jabari Parker. Parker and Thomas are close to the same size (Parker has about 20 pounds on Thomas) but Parker easily outmuscled Thomas en route to a third point play. He was also unable to find his position in the block on offense against Parker, as well. The best play Thomas had was in transition, playing stereotypical Spurs ball, had a fantastic touch pass to Vander Blue, where he finished with the reverse layup.
Austin Daye, again only playing 16:33, had an up-and-down performance. Matched up largely against Jabari Parker, Daye never let him get comfortable scoring from the floor on the offensive end. In fact, 10 or Parker’s 16 points came from the foul line. Daye spread the ball around well (4 assists), including a very nice unselfish play where he had an open three, but found Cotton on a long shot that was even more wide open shot. His shooting was streaky, where all his field goals came in the first half. He could have rebounded a bit better as well, but overall Daye did himself a favor today.
Paul Garcia and Michael De Leon will have more player analysis tomorrow.