The San Antonio Spurs tallied a 111-85 victory in their first preseason game of the 2021-22 season. The Utah Jazz were without multiple starters and played their deep bench players for extended minutes but the Spurs have to be happy with the way they played.
Spurs vs. Jazz – Final Grades
Johnson successfully stayed under control for a majority of his minutes, which was at times an issue last season. He competed on both ends with physicality, as we’ve come to expect.
In the first quarter, Murray was a disaster. He was trying to do too much and ended up doing more harm than good. Thankfully, he recovered very nicely after that and eventually was the best player on the court for a stretch.
White never really got going on either end. He looked out of sorts for minutes at a time. That said, he exhibited flashes of brilliance in pick-and-roll sets and kept his foot on the gas even when things weren’t going smoothly.
McDermott played as expected. Offensively, he moved unendingly without the ball and the Jazz paid attention to him when he drifted behind the three-point stripe. Defensively, he was physical at times but his impact was minimal.
Ten rebounds and two blocks in 17 minutes? Nope, can’t complain about that. Poeltl was productive from the very start. In fact, he also scored the team’s first four points.
Lonnie Walker IV
The Good: Walker wasn’t bashful. He looked to score early and often. He also authored a slick pass on the move. The Bad: Walker only hit one shot and made multiple mistakes on defense.
Vassell didn’t look good offensively coming out of the gates. He was hesitating and didn’t seem to know how to assert himself. As the game progressed, Vassell found a rhythm. By his final stint, he was all over the court.
Well, well, well. Pundits were shocked when the Spurs picked Primo with the 12th overall pick of the 2021 draft. His performance tonight had to turn some heads. The rookie hit his first five shots in his preseason debut on his way to pouring in 17 points in 18 minutes. He ran the team well as a point guard and also played stout defense. Not bad for a kid who doesn’t turn 19 until Christmas Eve.
Forbes gave the team an offensive jolt when he hit the court. The coaching staff ran plays for him and he didn’t let them down. Unfortunately, his defense was even worse than I remember.
Getting the first crack at the backup center minutes, Eubanks was extremely productive in his first stint. He played with purpose on offense, crashed the glass and defended the rim well. He even hit a three-pointer. Eubanks isn’t going to give up his spot in the rotation without a fight.
The Good: Landale knocked in two threes, showed promise as a passer in halfcourt sets and didn’t look intimidated in his first NBA action. The Bad: Landale was rushing a bit, which led directly to his five turnovers. Early on, he had trouble holding his ground in the lane but eventually he improved in that regard.
Bates-Diop didn’t do a whole lot on offense but he was active on defense and helped push the ball in transition.
Samanic was a little bit loose and sloppy at times but his final numbers paint a pretty picture. He illustrated a few glimpses of his vast potential.
Wieskamp didn’t look like a fish out of water, which is a good sign for a second round pick. Then again, he also didn’t do much of note.
Pop didn’t play anyone older than 30 … so, yeah, it’s a new day in San Antonio. He had his youthful team playing aggressively on both ends, which was nice to see.