Grades: San Antonio Spurs vs. Orlando Magic – Game #68

One game after one of their worst offensive performances of the season, the San Antonio Spurs bounced back against the Orlando Magic in historic fashion on Tuesday night. The Spurs nailed a franchise record 22 three-pointers and dished out a season-high 39 assists as they buried the Magic by a final score of 132-114.

The Spurs were down 8-2 in the opening minutes but then went on a 9-0 run to grab a lead they would never relinquish. Whenever the Magic would show signs of life, San Antonio would drop another three-point bomb. 

Overall, the Spurs played well. Their passing was excellent, which definitely played a role in hitting 22 three-pointers. That said, this should surely be classified as a fluke shooting performance rather than a sign of things to come. But it was fun while it lasted.

Spurs vs. Magic – Final Grades

spurs magic grades

Devin Vassell

With Keldon Johnson out, it was expected that Vassell would need to do a lot on the offensive end for the Spurs to have a chance to beat the Magic. Well, that didn’t really happen. Vassell struggled to find open looks all night long. In fact, he had to hit difficult shots in order to finish with ten points in 33 minutes. The good news is Vassell’s passing was better than usual and his defense was much, much better than we’ve witnessed for a majority of the season. This was the type of defense Vassell played in his first couple seasons in the league.

Grade: B

Jeremy Sochan

What was the biggest difference between the Spurs scoring 90 against the Thunder and scoring 132 against the Magic? The return of Sochan is near the top of that list. He was great against Orlando, especially considering he essentially played point guard for the majority of the contest. He came out aggressive in all facets of the game. He attacked the rim with ferocity, he ran the court looking to score, he constantly used his physicality and athleticism to his advantage, and he took the perimeter shots he needed to take. Defensively, Sochan was super active on the boards, did well in individual matchups and his help defense was reliable. This rookie is really starting to flash an unbelievably high ceiling.

Grade: A+

Zach Collins

Collins set the tone offensively for the Spurs. He had an itchy trigger finger coming out of the gates and his attempts were finding the bottom of the net. In the first half, Collins had 18 points utilizing a mix of perimeter marksmanship and deft touch in the lane. He finished the game with 25 points and hit all three of his three-pointers. Collins’ passing was timely and on target. Amazingly, for a guy who has a habit of fouling and turning the ball over in bunches, he totaled zero fouls and zero turnovers in 28 minutes. The only negative against the Magic was his individual defense. His rotations were fine but he was a bit weak at the point of attack in one-on-one matchups.

Grade: A

Devonte’ Graham

It was an unconventional outing for Graham. On a night the Spurs set their franchise record for made three-pointers, their most prolific volume three-point shooter was a pedestrian 1-for-4 from deep. That said, he definitely found other ways to produce. Graham had a team-high nine assists and his passing in transition and in halfcourt sets was outstanding. He also continues to exhibit a sneaky ability to coax free throw attempts out of officials. Defensively, he competed well and was much more physical than usual.

Grade: A-

Keita Bates-Diop

Bates-Diop was rock solid on Tuesday night. On offense, he was a three-point sniper. His 4-for-6 showing from downtown increased his three-point percentage on the season to a respectable 36.4%. He also authored some of his headiest of heady passes I’ve ever seen him make, including a heady tip rebound/pass to Collins for a layup and a heady drive-and-dish to Wesley for three. Defensively, Bates-Diop was above average.

Grade: A- 

Doug McDermott

Whenever the Magic got slightly out of position or missed a rotation, McDermott was ready, willing and able to make the Floridians pay. He did all of his damage from three-point land and it seemed like each of his five threes were timely. While McDermott’s defense was pretty darn horrid at times, the three-pointers helped ease the pain.

Grade: A-

Blake Wesley

While there were plenty of heady passes tossed around by the good guys on Tuesday evening, the best passer of the bunch was Blake Wesley. I was really impressed with what I saw out of him in that department. He was breaking down the defense with his speed and used his deceptively good court vision to find the open man. In halfcourt sets, Wesley had a number of good-to-great passes that resulted in open looks. If the rookie can become a consistent playmaker, that’d almost assuredly make him a bonafide NBA player going forward. Other than his passing, it was a good sign that he hit his first three shots from the field after a 1-for-12 showing against the Thunder. Defensively, Wesley supplied a decent amount of pressure.

Grade: A-

Sandro Mamukelashvili

Mamukelashvili had a very active 21 minutes. Playing a majority of his time at power forward, his lateral mobility looked highly questionable on defense but he made up for it with ruggedness and a dedication to the glass. Offensively, Mamukelashvili shot threes with confidence and he had a handful of really high-quality passes — including two alleyoop deliveries to Sochan. I’m not quite sold on him as an NBA player right now but there are signs that there’s something there. Hopefully he keeps playing hard and keeps improving.

Grade: B+

Dominick Barlow

Barlow played 11 minutes and I liked what I saw. On offense, he flashed craftiness, good hands and good body control. Barlow needs to improve his scoring output to make it in the league so it was great to see him flash talent and tools on that end. Defensively, he needs to get stronger but he can jump with timing and he moves his feet very well on the perimeter.

Grade: B+

Charles Bassey

The dark cloud among the sunshine and three-point rainbows was Bassey getting hurt. He blocked a shot at the end of the first quarter but was in obvious pain after doing so. Early reports are that Bassey has a non-displaced fracture in his left patella. That would be a season-ending injury for the young center. 

Grade: Inc.

Julian Champagnie

Champagnie came into the game and drained a three-pointer in short order. He also had a couple of positive defensive possessions. A 6-foot-7 guy who can hit threes and play adequate defense will have a spot in the league. Hopefully he can keep it up.

Grade: Inc.


Considering Pop went 11 players deep and limited the minutes of players performing well (Collins, Graham, Bates-Diop), I’m not convinced he was super interested in winning this game. But, whether he wanted the victory or not, the 22 three-pointers made sure Pop didn’t really have a say in the matter.

Grade: B