Grades: San Antonio Spurs at Boston Celtics – Game #75

The San Antonio Spurs were competitive to begin the contest against the Boston Celtics on Sunday night but ended up getting blown out of the water. When the final shot had been fired, the Celtics — who were playing without superstar Jayson Tatum — had blasted their way to an emphatic 137-93 victory. 

At the end of the first quarter, the Spurs had a two-point lead, 32-30. With 8:43 remaining in the half, San Antonio was actually ahead by six points, 40-34. However, that’s when the bottom fell out. The Celtics outscored the Spurs 34-18 the rest of the second quarter. In the second half, Boston thoroughly dominated, as San Antonio was outscored 69-35 after intermission.

There wasn’t much good to take from this game. The Spurs were terrible for the final two and a half quarters on both ends of the court. By the end of the obliteration, the happy feelings to begin the affair were a long lost memory.

Spurs at Celtics – Final Grades

spurs celtics grades

Devin Vassell

Vassell once again struggled when asked to be San Antonio’s go-to scorer. His shots from the perimeter were wayward, his drives to the gym were rarely fluid and he didn’t find his way to the free throw line. Vassell showed a bit of playmaking but that didn’t make up for his poor scoring. Defensively, I wasn’t impressed with anything I saw out of him on that end. 

Grade: D+

Zach Collins

The brightest of all bright spots for the Spurs against the Celtics was Zach Collins’ play in the first half. In 17 minutes, Collins totaled 18 points, four rebounds and three assists while shooting 7-for-10 from the field, 2-for-3 from three-point range and 2-for-3 at the line. He routinely punished mismatches and was decisive with all of his moves. Collins’ strong play was keeping the Spurs in the ballgame. Unfortunately, he played poorly after halftime and his production evaporated.

Grade: B+

Tre Jones

The good: Jones was hustling as much as a man can hustle on the defensive end. His help-defense was very well timed. Offensively, he took care of the ball and hit his only three-point attempt. The bad: Jones’ didn’t put enough pressure on the defense. When he’s not making plays or looking to score, he quickly becomes a liability on the offensive end. Defensively, despite his hustling, his impact was limited beyond the fact that he racked up three steals.

Grade: B-

Malaki Branham

While there was a lot of destruction around him, it was nice to see Branham get going a bit on the offensive end. He was back to hitting silky smooth pull-ups and showing an advanced level of craft and intelligence on that side of the court. Sadly, though, Branham played poor defense, didn’t do much playmaking and still looked a step slow in every movement that didn’t involve him having the ball in his hands.

Grade: B-

Keita Bates-Diop

Bates-Diop had a very forgettable 19 minutes of action. He hit only one of his six shot attempts and could mostly be found standing around. Defensively, while he was strong on the boards, his perimeter defense left a lot to be desired. 

Grade: C

Sandro Mamukelashvili

Mamukelashvili’s play was another bright spot. His energy and the electricity he brought to the court was palpable. He continues to show a lot of interesting skills such as advanced ball-handling, expansive court vision and an unyielding motor. On defense, Mamukelashvili was tasked to guard Jaylen Brown one-on-one on a number of possessions. Surprisingly, I thought he handled that pretty well — relatively speaking, of course. It looks like when he puts his mind to it, Mamukelashvili is quicker than he realizes. Could he play full-time out on the perimeter? Maybe; I’m not closing that door yet.

Grade: B+

Devonte’ Graham

Yikes, Graham didn’t do much right on Sunday night. He missed all five of his shots from the field, including all three of his three-point tries. His passing and ball-handling were sloppier than usual. He was efforting on defense but Graham rarely had positive possessions on that end. 

Grade: D

Doug McDermott

Like Graham, McDermott was a veteran who failed to deliver off the bench. He got up ten shot attempts in 21 minutes but massively struggled with his touch. McDermott was 1-for-7 from threes and started pressing the issue when the misses began to mount. I thought his shot-selection was too ambitious and his passing was too rare. Defensively, the Celtics went right at him and had a reliable amount of success.

Grade: D

Romeo Langford

I mean, Langford didn’t play great but he stood out as a competent piece of the puzzle on a bench unit that struggled mightily. He hit a three-pointer, was bouncy and active inside of the arc and ran the court hard in transition. I also thought his defense was pretty good. Langford obviously had some nerves playing against his former team but held it together decently well.

Grade: B

Julian Champagnie

Champagnie’s nine minutes came in garbage time in the fourth quarter. His uninspired play didn’t exactly help matters in terms of trying to keep the score respectable.

Grade: Inc.

Dominick Barlow

Barlow played some minutes in the first half and then also took part in the fourth quarter garbage time. He … didn’t do much of anything. In seven minutes, the only statistic he tallied was a pair of fouls. Barlow has physical tools but, like I’ve been writing, he needs to turn those tools into production more often if he hopes to stick.

Grade: Inc.

Gorgui Dieng

In garbage time, Dieng missed all four of his shots. He was making the right passes but he did more wrong than right.

Grade: Inc.

Blake Wesley

Wesley had an old-fashioned three-point play in garbage time.

Grade: Inc.


The good: I actually liked Pop’s mad-scientist plan of having Mamukelashvili defend Brown. Brown finished with 41 points in 36 minutes so it’s not like anything else the Spurs were doing was slowing him down. Putting Mamu on him allowed the coaches to take a look at how well he can move his feet and whether he can play positions other than center. The bad: I know Wesley has struggled recently but Pop really couldn’t find time for the rookie prior to garbage time? I also wouldn’t have minded a real look at Champagnie.

Grade: C+