Second preseason game, second blowout loss for the San Antonio Spurs. After keeping it close in the first quarter, the Spurs got blitzed by the Miami Heat and lost by a final count of 107-89.
Are these two blowouts worrisome? It’s preseason, so it’s not a good idea to draw any conclusions. That said, patterns are starting to develop that could point to problems down the line. The offense, specifically, has sputtered and hasn’t shown much life. The defense has been decent in spots but overall it’s been underwhelming, too.
The next time we’ll see San Antonio in action will be on Thursday night during the Silver & Black Open Scrimmage. If you can’t attend, the scrimmage will be streamed live on Facebook.
Spurs Grades In Second Preseason Game
8 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists in 23 minutes
3-for-9 shooting from the floor, 1-for-1 on threes, 1-for-2 at the line
For the second straight game, LaMarcus Aldridge nailed a three-pointer on San Antonio’s first possession of the game. But like last game, Aldridge didn’t spend anymore time beyond the three-point line after his early trey. Overall, the 34-year-old seems to be moving well but he’s rusty on offense; Aldridge rushed a few looks and wasn’t getting separation with his post moves. Defensively, he’s mostly in preseason mode but had a couple decent plays.
10 points, 3 assists and 2 rebounds in 22 minutes
3-for-7 shooting from the floor, 4-for-4 at the line
We didn’t see any notable wrinkles in the offense during DeMar DeRozan’s first preseason action. It was more of what we’ve come to expect: DeRozan isolating in the midrange along with a few pick-and-rolls. He looks to be in pretty good shape, although he wasn’t giving much effort on defense so it was difficult to get much of a read on how well he’s moving.
8 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists in 19 minutes
2-for-8 from the floor, 0-for-1 on threes, 4-for-4 at the line
Offensively, Dejounte Murray continues to be extremely aggressive. While he didn’t shoot it well tonight, he was creating good looks for himself and also passed the ball well. I don’t think he’s going to be an offensive juggernaut but Murray averaging 12-14 points per game looks within the realm of possibilities. Defensively, he was extremely active but wasn’t too effective. He was jumping into passing lanes but completely whiffed more often than not and wasn’t as good as usual on the board.
5 points and 3 rebounds in 17 minutes
2-for-7 from the floor, 1-for-2 on threes
After coming out of the gates on fire in the first game of preseason, Bryn Forbes cooled off dramatically in the second game. He wasn’t nearly as involved in the offensive sets and, as a result, got lost in the action. He wasn’t cutting hard and wasn’t doing much of anything unless there was a play called specifically for him. Defensively, Forbes was mostly a turnstyle.
8 points, 5 rebounds and 2 turnovers in 20 minutes
4-for-6 from the floor
I don’t think Jakob Poeltl did anything to hurt his standing. It’s questionable whether there’s enough spacing on the court when he’s in the starting lineup but he’s playing pretty well. His movement off the ball and aggression with the ball are positives. He’s also running the court well. Defensively, he could be a bit tougher and quicker to offer help, although that’s the case with everyone on the roster right now.
12 points, 2 rebounds and 2 turnovers in 22 minutes
4-for-8 from the floor, 2-for-5 on threes, 2-for-2 at the line
Production-wise, Rudy Gay was fine. He was one of the few bright spots offensively, as he hit half of the team’s three-pointers and wasn’t passive about trying to create. As far as the eye-test is concerned, I wasn’t as impressed. Gay looks to be moving slowly on the perimeter on both ends and he compounded that issue by being soft in the paint against the Heat. Has he lost a step or he’s just coasting in the preseason? We’ll find out eventually.
1 points, 3 assists, 3 turnovers and 5 fouls in 19 minutes
0-for-4 from the field, 0-for-1 on threes, 1-for-2 at the line
Bringing Derrick White off the bench has been a gigantic failure over the first two games. He’s been arguably the worst player on the court in both outings. In Miami, he was hesitating, failing to make plays and looked to have no semblance of confidence whatsoever. As his mistakes on both ends of the court piled up, he was left shaking his head. For the Spurs to be a good team this year, they need White to play well. So far, he’s been really bad and the results, not surprisingly, have been a pair of blowouts.
8 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 turnovers in 17 minutes
4-for-8 from the floor, 0-for-1 on threes, 1-for-2 at the line
Patty Mills brought the energy in his first preseason affair of the campaign. He was flying off of picks and looking to hoist up shots. Considering the mess around him, his energy was appreciated, even if his sharpness was lacking. On defense, though, he was bad. When he tried to guard against penetration, he was simply overmatched.
5 points and 2 assists in 15 minutes
2-for-6 from the field, 0-for-1 on threes, 1-for-2 at the line
Speaking of bad defense, Marco Belinelli gave another reminder why advanced stats say he’s one of the worst perimeter defenders in the NBA. The Heat were picking on him and Belinelli was helpless to do anything to stop it. Offensively, he was fine. He made a few good passes and moved well. That said, his defense — or lack thereof — overshadowed everything else.
Lonnie Walker IV
4 points in 11 minutes
2-for-3 from the floor, 0-for-2 from the line
Lonnie Walker IV wasn’t part of the regular rotation, as Belinelli entered the game before he did. When Walker got onto the court, he was decent. Offensively, he moved with purpose and authored a couple of strong drives to the hoop. Defensively, his effort was good enough but he made a few tactical mistakes in his 11 minutes of playing time.
2 points, 2 rebounds and 2 turnovers in 12 minutes
1-for-2 from the floor
In his first action with the Spurs, DeMarre Carroll hustled, ran the court well and had a few possessions of really good defense. Unfortunately, he also had a few defensive possessions where he got blown by on the perimeter. On offense, it’s still a work in progress as Carroll wasn’t finding the room to get off any open shots from the perimeter.
3 rebounds in 9 minutes
0-for-3 from the floor
I didn’t see many positives in Chimezie Metu’s outing. He was fast in transition and quick with the ball in his hands. Everything else, though, just wasn’t good. Defensively, he doesn’t have good instincts and couldn’t hold his ground when boxing out. When Pop put him at center, the Heat had no trouble getting into the lane and finishing uncontested shots. Offensively, he looks the part but in terms of actual production, it was another empty outing.
6 points and 3 rebounds in 8 minutes
1-for-3 from the floor, 4-for-4 at the line
Drew Eubanks did okay against the Heat. He was bouncy and active on both ends. Eubanks was aggressive on offense and continues to trust his jumper. Defensively, he held up decently on the boards but otherwise wasn’t helping much at all. Miami’s athletes were giving him trouble with their agility.
5 points in 9 minutes
1-for-1 from the field, 3-for-3 at the line
As far as the eye-test is concerned, Dedric Lawson doesn’t look like a legit NBA prospect. He looks undersized, unathletic and unexplosive. Part of the issue is he’s a rookie who doesn’t really know what to do. We’ll know more after a year in Austin but so far, it’s difficult to find any silver linings with him.
2 points and 3 rebounds in 8 minutes
1-for-3 from the field, 0-for-1 on threes
Quinndary Weatherspoon had his ups and downs during his 8 minutes of garbage time. While he was tenacious at times defensively and his offensive determination was a breath of fresh air, he also fell asleep and made ill-advised plays on both ends.
5 points in 4 minutes
2-for-2 from the field, 1-for-1 at the line
Although he didn’t play until extended garbage time, Keldon Johnson looked a lot better than last time out. He used his strength well and wasn’t rushing things.
Daulton Hommes is a shooter who is either hesitating to shoot or can’t get his shot off against NBA athletes. He’s also a really bad defender at this stage of his basketball life.