The San Antonio Spurs opened their Utah Summer League schedule with an 87-74 loss to the Utah Jazz Monday. Despite having some second-year members in Dejounte Murray, Bryn Forbes and Davis Bertans on the roster, the Spurs’ squad had difficulty containing the Utah backcourt of Dante Exum (18 points) and rookie Donovan Mitchell (23 points).
Here are some observations on the Spurs’ players that are expected to be on the opening night roster in October.
Dejounte Murray: 6 points (3-7 shooting), 5 assists, 3 steals, 3 turnovers
In the first half on offense, the Spurs ran a lot of action through Murray as the pick-and-roll ball handler. He was able to get in the lane against the Jazz defense over and over again, that by the time the second quarter approached, the Jazz were preparing for his drives by keeping close to three defenders near the paint. Murray found his teammates in the paint with nifty entry passes and out on the perimeter with drive and kick action, but with his teammates unable to make the shots he provided, Murray only finished with five assists.
In the third quarter Murray was a little loose with the ball on his drives and defensively throughout most of the game he had difficulty preventing Exum from driving past him to get into the lane. Murray didn’t play in the fourth quarter.
Davis Bertans: 12 points (3-10 shooting), 3 rebounds, 2 turnovers
Bertans got most of his shot attempts off pick-and-pop action, and he even made some deep 3-pointers, one that was an and-1 attempt. Off the dribble, Bertans had difficulty penetrating the lane and opening the offense for his teammates.
Bryn Forbes: 12 points (3-14 shooting), 3 rebounds, 1 assist
Forbes mostly had to work off the dribble with screen action to try to get his shots off. He didn’t get many open looks as he either got jumpers around screens, or would take contested looks after crossovers or on drives to the rim.
Derrick White: 13 points (5-12 shooting), 3 assists, 2 rebounds, 2 turnovers
White showed some flashes in the second quarter where he scored nine of his 13 points. He was able to work the mid-range game with pump fakes and step-back action, while he also demonstrated his passing vision in the halfcourt by finding Bertans under the rim for an alley-oop layup. White also collected a defensive rebound on a possession, ran the floor with the ball in the open court, and finished around the defender with a lefty layup. In the first half, White played good positional defense by keeping his opponent in front of him. In the second half though, White had difficulty keeping his opponent from driving past him.
Up next the Summer Spurs will face the Boston Celtics on Wednesday in Utah at 6:00 PM CST.