By Firman Iksan
The first game of NBA D-League playoffs for Austin Spurs is in the book and by the looks of things if it doesn’t get better for the Austin Spurs quickly, they may lose Game 2 today and be eliminated from the playoffs. Let’s do the recap quickly and hope the Austin Spurs will do better in the next game.
Well, where do we start here? The Spurs scored just 11 points in the first. Not a lot of highlights or bright side in this one. Bakersfield shot 53% from the field, while Austin shot 25% on their way to 11 points in the quarter. Yikes. Playoff jitters or not, Austin can’t afford to start the game like this again if they want to advance. Austin trailed by 16 points after the first.
Bakersfield actually extended their lead in the second quarter to 22 points before halftime, as the Austin Spurs trailed 33 to 55. Not much happened in this quarter, but Kyle Anderson did have one highlight where his ability to create offense and passing skills stand out here (skip to 0:56).
Maybe all the Austin Spurs needed was halftime to regain their focus? Austin cut the Bakersfield’s lead to 12 with about seven minutes to go in the 3rd, but an 11-2 run by Bakersfield ended all hope of any comeback whatsoever. But if you’re an optimist, at least Austin scored 30 points in this quarter. Maybe the Spurs should just play like they did in the third quarter, but for the whole game.
Austin already trailed by so much, and after their mini comeback that was cut by the 11-2 run by Bakersfield, it just seemed like they couldn’t gather enough energy or hit enough shoots to comeback in this game. Bakersfield actually got the lead up to 46 points before winning comfortably by 38.
Some observation from this game:
– Austin shoots a dismal 3-20 from three point land. As one of the better shooting teams this season, maybe it just a one game flux. But as already mentioned, Austin is in a position where they can’t allow this kind of night happen again if they want to advance.
– Bakersfield shot an outstanding 53% from the field, 52% from three and 80% from the free throw line. Almost the perfect formula to win a playoff game.
– Kyle Anderson and Jarell Eddie need to play better. Arguably the most talented duo of the Austin Spurs roster, they combined to shoot 7-25 overall, 0-12 from three land. Cue the Spurs 79 total points scored.
– The Austin Spurs have to do a better job of guarding Xavier Munford (or anyone else, really) but seeing how easily Munford scored his 34 points (check out the highlights below) Austin has to step up the defensive intensity a notch to wrestle this series’ momentum to go their way.