The San Antonio Spurs improved to 4-7 on the season after cruising past the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night by a final score of 136-117. The Spurs got up big early on and answered all of Sacramento’s attempts to rally. San Antonio’s passing was excellent and their shooting was straight, as the Spurs finished with 34 assists and shot 18-of-32 from three-point land.
Murray’s decision-making was really good on the offensive end and he took great care of the ball. By keeping a foot on the gas, he helped create space for shooters. Defensively, he was really strong in the first quarter but let up a bit in the final three quarters.
The good: Johnson’s rebounding was vital. When there was a contested ball, he could be counted on to corral it. He was active throughout on defense and made a handful of smart passes on offense. The bad: Too often, Johnson could be found holding onto the ball too long and failing to recognize obvious offensive mismatches.
White didn’t look right once again. He hit his first shot of the game but that was anemic after that. He’s 1-for-16 from the field in his last two outings. It looks like he’s tiptoeing around the court, so that probably means his problematic feet are hurting again or his confidence has evaporated. The latter is a legitimate possibility since he looked more dejected than usual after innocuous miscues.
McDermott moved without the ball well, hit shots on the move and was physical on the defensive end. I especially liked his boxing out efforts and the fact that he was running hard in transition both ways.
The good: For a team that struggles to get to the free throw line, Eubanks notching 13 free throw attempts was a godsend. He also pounded the offensive glass and went up strong when finishing. The bad: He came out of the gates looking jittery and committed three early turnovers. His defensive rebounding was mostly missing in action and his protection of the rim left a lot to be desired.
Considering that Vassell was 0-for-5 from three-point range last game, his 5-for-7 showing from downtown this time around was great to see. His shot looked even smoother than normal. Defensively, while his intensity wasn’t as high as it normally is, he was solid on that end.
It’s difficult to complain about anything Young did against the Kings. Defensively, he was almost always in the right spot. Offensively, his flips in the lane were finding cord and his passing was sublime. In fact, he led the Spurs with eight assists. Even when Jakob Poeltl returns to the lineup, it’s going to be hard to justify dropping Young out of the rotation.
Lonnie Walker IV
While Walker’s night wasn’t spectacular, I thought he was strong across the board. Defensively, he had a couple heady plays — and that’s not usually an adjective used to describe Walker’s defensive play. Offensively, he shot it when open and created off the dribble when it was needed. That’s not a complicated recipe but it’s what the Spurs need from Walker.
This was likely Forbes’ best game of the season. He actually had a couple of hustle plays on the defensive end that ended with positive results. Offensively, he came out firing and seemed to help ignite his comrades. Forbes also completed a couple of acrobatic finishes. He missed a few obvious passes that he needed to make but otherwise he was stout.
Jones got a couple extra minutes before garbage time. He didn’t do much of note.
Primo completed a slick pass on one of his few touches.
Wieskamp buried a three-pointer to score his first NBA points in his first official NBA game. Congrats.
I didn’t have any issues with the rotation. It was good to see that the team listened to Pop and actually kept the intensity revved to the max despite gaining an early advantage.
Hopefully the third time’s the charm when the Spurs take on the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night. San Antonio has lost twice to Dallas this season. But considering the losses came by a total of six points, let’s hope the Spurs are due for a breakthrough.