Injuries continue to plague the San Antonio Spurs as Thursday night’s marquee matchup ended in an unspectacular 83-75 overtime loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.
With Derrick White (hamstring) and Chimezie Metu (wrist) already out for the contest, it was up to Lonnie Walker IV to run the show against fellow rookie Donte DiVincenzo.
Unfortunately for fans, DiVincenzo’s return was limited to just 10 minutes as the Bucks managed his return from a groin injury he suffered prior to the draft.
Meanwhile, Walker IV re-aggravated an ankle injury he suffered during Utah Summer League and will miss the remainder of the tournament.
Here are some observations from Thursday night’s 83-75 loss to Milwaukee.
LONNIE WALKER IV
The aforementioned Walker has improved considerably during Summer League, but Thursday night was a poor offensive performance for the guard.
Offensively, Walker played a tad more off the ball than he had in previous games, but also at times came across as slightly disengaged on both ends of the floor. He finished with just five points on 2-for-9 shooting, but did manage to collect nine rebounds before exiting with his injury.
The lack of offense by both teams was a byproduct of tired legs, but overall, San Antonio’s energy level on both ends of the floor was waning as they played their seventh game in 11 days.
The biggest beneficiary of White’s injury and now Walker’s has been former second round pick Olivier Hanlan.
Entrusted with running the show, Hanlan showed off by scoring 18 points in 27 minutes while shooting 50 percent from the field and 43 percent from beyond the arc.
Hanlan’s production going forward will be interesting to watch. While the Spurs retain his draft rights, there’s not much space for him on the roster as presently constructed.
Either way, Hanlan stands to benefit from the extra time as he could be anything from a training camp invite to a valuable trade chip in any Kawhi Leonard deals.
The player with the most to gain from San Antonio’s offseason moves remains Jaron Blossomgame.
A catalyst in the Austin Spurs championship run last season, Blossomgame has been on a tear in Las Vegas.
Through four games he’s averaging 15.3 points and 8.0 rebounds per game, all while shooting nearly 60 percent from the field.
For all the positives, something Blossomgame still struggles with is his finishing around the basket, but at this point, that’s a minor detail in the overall improvement he’s shown so far.