After winning their preseason opener, the San Antonio Spurs fell to the Detroit Pistons by a final score of 115-105 in their second preseason game. The Spurs outscored the Pistons 29-15 in the second quarter but otherwise San Antonio struggled to string together coherent possessions. Dejounte Murray (rest) sat out this game and Lonnie Walker IV took his spot in the starting lineup.
Spurs at Pistons: Final Grades
Johnson had a really rough first half. On offense, he was both holding the ball too long and making bad decisions. Defensively, he blew multiple switches and was slow in transition. In the second half, Johnson played much, much better — including hitting all five of his field goal attempts.
Lonnie Walker IV
The Good: I liked Walker’s aggression level. He looked to shoot early and often. If anything, I wouldn’t have been mad if he shot even more than he did. He also flashed expansive court vision. The Bad: Walker wasn’t exactly killing ’em with his accuracy. His defensive intensity was also sporadic.
White got the keys to the Cadillac with Murray resting — and he barely got out of the garage. He inexplicably struggled with ball-handling, his playmaking was minimal and his passes were oftentimes late. The effort was there but White simply never got into any sort of rhythm.
Good stuff from McDermott. His off the ball movement was helpful. When plays were run for him, his crisp cuts helped create space. He even had a couple of impressive highlights on the defensive end.
The Spurs surprisingly unveiled multiple sets in which Poeltl is asked to make plays in the post. The sets actually worked well. Poeltl’s passing was a plus and he would have had more buckets if he didn’t blow point-blank looks at the rim.
The Good: Vassell wasn’t bashful about pulling the trigger. Confidence-wise, he seems to have taken two or three steps forward from his rookie campaign. It’s obvious he’s trying to escape the 3-and-D box he lived in as a rookie. The Bad: Vassell’s aggression, though admirable, led to a lot of sloppiness, primarily on the offensive end.
The Good: Young knows how to play the game of basketball. His preternatural awareness on both ends is palpable. He knows where to be and knows what to do. His passing, specifically, could help any team. The Bad: Young’s perimeter defense against quick players looks highly questionable.
Forbes poured in 20 points in 19 minutes powered by his 6-for-8 showing from beyond the long line. This would have been a really ugly offensive performance for the Spurs if it weren’t for Forbes’ precision. Defensively, his outing was less impressive. There were multiple even-bad-for-Forbes defensive possessions.
Eubanks was active, bruising bodies and throwing around his weight. He authored a few crafty passes, something we haven’t seen much from him in his career. Defensively, his rotations needed to be faster.
Aminu hit both of his shots but aesthetically I wasn’t impressed by what I saw. His lateral movements were glacial and he couldn’t get off the court when he attempted to jump. I didn’t see any proof that he could be a plus on the defense end.
Primo didn’t play until the final seven minutes. He didn’t score a point but his passing impressed. Primo spotted open teammates and delivered passes with pinpoint touch.
Landale looked bouncier and fleeter of foot than he did in his debut.
Samanic played with urgency in his minutes. He looked to do something positive whenever he was involved in a possession. Perhaps he realizes his roster spot could be in jeopardy.
Wieskamp showed off his jumping ability on a dunk after a slick pass from Samanic.
I mean, bruh, how are you going to elevate the mummified corpse of Aminu into the rotation, lean heavily on Young in a preseason game and start Forbes in the second half and yet not play Primo until the final seven minutes and not play Samanic until the final five minutes? It would have also been nice to allow Landale to play real minutes. I know Pop isn’t going to throw 18-year-old Primo into the fire but at least give the kid some run in a meaningless preseason game after he shined in his debut. And, damn, Samanic is in his third season and still hasn’t ever been given a chance to be in the rotation during a preseason game. Come on.