Scrimmage Preview: San Antonio Spurs vs. Indiana Pacers

The San Antonio Spurs will play their final scrimmage today when they take on the Indiana Pacers at 3 p.m. After losses versus the Milwaukee Bucks and Brooklyn Nets, the Spurs will get one more opportunity to remember what a win feels like prior to the NBA’s restart. The first real game San Antonio plays will be on Friday against the Sacramento Kings.

Dejounte Murray and Derrick White Still a Thing

Dejounte Murray and Derrick White have started in the backcourt in both scrimmages. Bryn Forbes has indicated that he’s open to coming off the bench, which could be another sign that the Murray and White combo will be starting the rest of the way.

If the Murray and White combination is going to survive the coaching staff’s scrutiny, they will have to do better than they did against the Nets. While White had a good game, the duo didn’t play well together. Add DeMar DeRozan into the mix and it’s obvious that the players are trying to figure out who should be the primary playmaker. On top of that, reliable outside shooting remains an issue with this grouping.

DeMar DeRozan’s Future with the Spurs

It appears as if the Spurs will give a long look to playing DeMar DeRozan at power forward. In the scrimmages, that’s the position he has most played. With Lonnie Walker IV at small forward and Jakob Poeltl at center, DeRozan has found himself going against bigger players than usual.

Thus far, the results haven’t been pretty. Offensively, DeRozan has struggled in all facets. Defensively, he’s getting overpowered and isn’t helping enough in the paint or rebounding-wise. Overall, it appears as if DeRozan isn’t in the best of shape, as his quickness has been missing in action.

If DeRozan doesn’t turn it around by the end of the regular season, the Spurs will have to think long and hard about whether they want to keep him around. If Murray and White play well and DeRozan struggles, that would likely be the end of DeRozan in San Antonio because he’s a poor fit next to those two players.

Lonnie Walker IV’s Scoring Load

If DeRozan isn’t capable of picking up the scoring slack, the Spurs might have to turn to Lonnie Walker IV to get buckets. While both Murray and White can put the ball in the basket, Walker appears more capable of scoring consistently if he takes the next step in his development.

On the season, Walker is averaging 5.6 points in 19.6 minutes per game. The Spurs may need Walker’s scoring average to more than double in the eight remaining regular games if they have any hope of thriving.