The San Antonio Spurs fell to the Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder Saturday of their preseason opener 121-108. Out for the Spurs as a consequence of damage have been Derrick White, Keldon Johnson, and Quinndary Weatherspoon. Listed below are some matters we’ll be exploring on this weekend wrap-up of the primary preseason sport.
- Robust First Half
- Vassell Shines in Rookie Debut
- Australian Nationwide Group Mindset for Mills
Robust First Half
The improved protection the Spurs performed within the bubble again in August wasn’t the protection that confirmed up for the primary half Saturday. The Spurs allowed 33 factors to the Thunder within the first quarter, then the Thunder outscored the Spurs 40-26 within the second quarter, taking a 15 level lead into halftime.
“I believed the primary half was worse than a daily preseason sport,” mentioned Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich after the sport. “They scored 1,000 factors within the first half.”
“Simply getting again into it,” mentioned Rudy Homosexual of the explanation for the gradual begin within the first half. “Just a bit rusty, getting again to the fundamentals.”
The Spurs began with a standard lineup moderately than the small ball they have been taking part in within the bubble. They started with Dejounte Murray, DeMar DeRozan, Rudy Homosexual (who often performs the 4), LaMarcus Aldridge, and Jakob Poeltl.
With extra conventional halfcourt gamers on the ground, the Spurs didn’t push the tempo like that they had been saying in coaching camp they have been going to do that season. As a substitute, there have been extra halfcourt units on offense and within the first half, the Thunder made 70% of their makes an attempt within the paint and 60% of their outdoors pictures.
The Spurs went with a bench unit of Patty Mills, Lonnie Walker IV, Devin Vassell, Trey Lyles, and Keita Bates-Diop for the second half.
Walker IV didn’t play within the second half, after logging simply 13 minutes within the first half. He has been recovering from a again damage during the last two weeks and was a late determination to play. Bates-Diop sprained his left ankle within the first half and didn’t return to the sport.
Vassell Shines in Rookie Debut
Rookie Vassell shined in his first preseason sport, ending with 12 factors, 6 rebounds, 3 steals, 2 assists, 3 fouls, and 1 block in 25 minutes.
Proper from the get-go within the first quarter, Vassell attacked the rim off a catch within the halfcourt and acquired himself to the free throw line.
He picked up three early fouls within the first half, however then within the second half he didn’t tally any fouls.
On protection, he collected three steals, one by anticipating a submit entry go and one other when seeing a cutter although the center, he dashed in to interrupt up the go.
“You’ve simply form of acquired to see it,” mentioned Vassell of choosing off passes on protection. “It’s form of like a big gamble.”
He recorded a block on assist protection on a drive and on offense, he knocked down 4 free throws, he made two spot-up 3-pointers, and he made a pull-up jumper after a pump faux.
“He did a positive job,” mentioned Popovich of Vassell. “He’s aggressive, he performs the sport correctly.”
Vassell mentioned he desires to “get minutes and get stops. Nevertheless I can get on the court docket, that’s what I’m going to do.”
He mentioned the coaches have instructed him to “form of simply be myself. Play my sport, on the finish of the day, simply be assured in myself and play protection.”
“He’s powerful,” mentioned Homosexual of Vassell after the sport. “He’s sensible and has coronary heart.”
“I believe they will praise one another,” mentioned Homosexual of the power a combo of Vassell and Johnson can carry to the lineup. “The long run seems to be shiny.”
Australian Nationwide Group Mindset for Mills
All through coaching camp Mills has been saying he’s going to be extra aggressive on offense in scoring, not simply organising teammates and being a spot-up shooter. As a substitute, he desires to look to attain extra like he does when he performs with the Australian Nationwide workforce in worldwide play.
Mills did simply that Saturday all through the sport. In simply 20 minutes, Mills dropped 24 factors on 16 shot makes an attempt. He and Aldridge led the workforce in shot makes an attempt with 16 every. Mills was scoring from everywhere in the flooring by attacking the paint and utilizing screens to hoist pull-up jumpers from outdoors and mid-range.
He scored 12 factors from three, 6 within the paint, 4 from mid-range, and a pair of from the free throw line. Mills was essentially the most environment friendly participant within the sport scoring the ball, as he scored 1.20 factors per minute.
“Yeah undoubtedly, like I’ve mentioned earlier than it’s a mindset factor,” mentioned Mills of being extra aggressive in scoring the ball. “Conserving that mindset for the course of the season.”