Grades: San Antonio Spurs vs. Houston Rockets – Summer League Game #3

The San Antonio Spurs dropped to 0-3 in summer league play following a 97-84 defeat at the hands of the Houston Rockets on Monday night. The Spurs actually led 54-46 at halftime before getting blown off the court in the second half by a count of 51-30.

San Antonio was playing without Joshua Primo, whose summer league may be over after entering health and safety protocols. 

Spurs vs. Rockets: Final Grades

Blake Wesley

32 minutes, 14 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals, 3 turnovers, 4 fouls
3-for-20 from the floor, 0-for-7 on threes, 8-for-9 at the line

The good: Wesley had a few wonderful passes on the move. His penetration-and-kick game was promising on a handful of possessions. Offensively, his elite athleticism was on full display and it’s why he got to the free throw line for nine attempts. Defensively, he was aggressive, attentive and consistently disrupted passing lanes.

The bad: After a red hot start from three-point land in summer league, Wesley was due for a correction — but, ouch, wow. He couldn’t get any of his perimeter jumpers to go. His finishing at the rim remains a monumental work in progress. While he passed it better, he still missed a number of open teammates. All in all, Wesley clearly has a lot of rough edges that need refining — but there are astonishing physical tools and rare athletic traits to work with. 

Grade: C-

Malaki Branham

28 minutes, 20 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 5 turnovers
8-for-18 from the field, 3-for-7 on threes, 1-for-2 at the line

With Primo out, Branham got more touches — and the results were mostly positive. He never hesitated when given a three-point look. He illustrated silky smooth moves off the dribble. Going to the rim, he showed off his sneaky athleticism on multiple occasions. Offensively, it’s obvious that he’s a well-coached and unselfish prospect. Defensively … yeah, Branham has issues. He has trouble staying in front of anyone and his rotations are slow. He’s going to need to improve drastically on that end before he can play a winning brand of basketball in the NBA.  

Grade: B

DJ Stewart

25 minutes, 6 points, 3 rebounds, 2 turnovers
2-for-6 from the field, 2-for-4 on threes

Eh, Stewart was once again reliable in terms of his decision-making but he simply wasn’t moving the needle enough. He started in place of Primo and seemingly disappeared for stretches at a time. 

Grade: C

Darius Days

24 minutes, 13 points, 11 rebounds, 2 turnovers, 4 fouls
5-for-10 from the field, 3-for-7 on threes

In the first half, Days was awesome. At halftime, he had 13 points and seven rebounds on 5-for-8 shooting from the field, including 3-for-5 shooting on three-pointers. He was the main reason the Spurs had an eight-point lead at intermission. At that moment, Days not only appeared to be a lock for a two-way contract, he was making a case that he deserved a multi-year NBA contract. His energy and toughness were palpable and his shooting and rebounding were magnificent.

Unfortunately, Days cooled down at half. In the final two periods, he didn’t do a whole lot. Honestly, it looked like his gas tank was running on empty. That said, through three games, Days is still the big winner of the Spurs summer league experience. He has looked very good and should, at the very least, get a training camp invite.

Grade: B+

Javin DeLaurier

24 minutes, 4 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 4 turnovers
2-for-2 from the field, 0-for-1 at the line

DeLaurier looks like a good rebounder but his feel for the game is lacking and his mobility is iffy. 

Grade: C

Dominick Barlow

19 minutes, 13 points, 5 rebounds, 4 turnovers
4-for-8 from the field, 5-for-5 at the line

Barlow started at center for the third straight game and the 19-year-old continues to exhibit intriguing flashes. His mobility is what really stands out. Defensively, he can move his feet on the perimeter with ease. In transition, he’s very fast up and down the court and can even handle the ball a bit. Offensively, he’s a threat to drive when he catches the ball on the perimeter. Barlow doesn’t have good hands, isn’t a good ball-handler in close quarters and doesn’t know where to be half the time — but there’s definitely enough promise to justify the two-way contract the Spurs gave him. 

Grade: B

Robert Woodard II

18 minutes, 7 points, 6 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 turnovers
3-for-8 from the field, 1-for-2 on threes

There was a stretch of a few minutes where Woodard looked like a really good player. He was flying around on defense and was a terror in transition. Sadly, that stretch was fleeting and the rest of his night was nondescript. 

Grade: B-

Ky Bowman

17 minutes, 4 points, 3 turnovers
1-for-2 from the field, 1-for-2 on threes, 1-for-1 at the line

For a 25-year-old with NBA experience, Bowman was really bad. Other than a four-point play he had early on, everything else was disastrous. He couldn’t dribble. He couldn’t pass. He couldn’t play defense. I’m not sure how he could have played any worse than he did. That said, I’ll give him a slight break due to the fact that this was his first summer league action after sitting out the first two games. 

Grade: D-

Jordan Hall

11 minutes, 3 points
1-for-4 from the field, 1-for-3 on threes

With Primo out, Hall appeared to be in line for extended minutes — but that didn’t happen. While he was on the court, he mostly did what we’ve come to expect: shoot threes, flash above average court vision and play matador defense. 

Grade: C+

Kyler Edwards

3 minutes, 2 fouls

The Spurs gave Kyler Edwards an Exhibit-10 contract after he went undrafted, which basically means San Antonio was willing to pay him a little bit of extra money for him to stick around in Austin and play in the G League. After three summer league games, Edwards has now played three minutes. That’s a little bit surprising given the contract he signed. Then again, I didn’t see anything in his cameo that makes me think he necessarily deserves more minutes. 

Grade: Inc.

Mitch Johnson

I thought the coaches could have done a better job of putting Wesley in a position to succeed. There were a lot of times where he was asked to create something out of nothing. More minutes for Barlow would have been interesting, at least. Same with Days — but his lack of minutes was somewhat understandable due to his fatigue level in the second half. On the other side of the coin, Branham got a few innovative plays run for him that helped get him going. 

Grade: C