After falling to the Utah Jazz in their opening Utah Summer League game, the San Antonio Spurs rebounded with a win Wednesday evening, after the Spurs defeated the Boston Celtics 81-70, with Spurs guard Bryn Forbes leading the way with a game-high 31 points.
Here are some observations on the Spurs’ players that are expected to be on the opening night roster in October.
Bryn Forbes: 31 points (12-20 shooting, 6-8 from 3PT), 2 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals in 29 minutes
Forbes ran some minutes at the point guard position when Dejounte Murray was resting during the game, and when he did initiate the offense, he looked calm in either getting the team into their sets or calling for picks and driving the ball himself, passing to a teammate, or shooting a three-pointer off the dribble if the defense went under on the screen. Time and time again in the game, Forbes also demonstrated the ability to take his defender off the dribble and either finish with a runner or floater off the glass, or go straight to his mid-range shot. Defensively, Forbes had a tough draw as he had to defend Jayson Tatum (6’8”) who finished with 23 points for the Celtics. Being that Forbes is only 6’3”, it was not the ideal matchup for him as Tatum could get away from Forbes off the ball or drive past him. In this game, Forbes showed the ability to play both guard positions as a player who can run the offense as a point for spot minutes or his more natural position as a shooting guard, running off screen action to get open.
Davis Bertans: 14 points (5-10 shooting, 4-8 from 3PT), 4 rebounds, 1 assist in 27 minutes
While Bertans got most of his points off his pick-and-pop 3-point shooting ability in stretching the defense out, he did demonstrate the ability to use drive and kick action. On a few possessions when the defense ran Bertans off the 3-point line, he drove in, and kicked back out to the outside, or he finished with a runner near the rim.
Derrick White: 10 points (3-13 shooting, 1-4 from 3PT), 2 assists, 1 rebound, 1 turnover in 21 minutes
In the first half, White had trouble making his shots after his shot selection was questionable. However, in the second half, White was much more composed running the offense and either finding his teammates or taking more quality looks. On one possession, defensively, he was matched up with Tatum 1-on-1 and held his own, forcing Tatum to shoot a contested jumper over him, which he missed. Late in the shot clock on a possession, White got a mismatch with a big and made a 3-pointer over him off the dribble. White had some solid reads in both the half and open court, but with his teammates unable to convert those passes into baskets, he only finished with two assists. Defensively, he also held his own guarding Jaylen Brown (6’7”) on a few possessions, which White’s 6’5” frame allows him to do against taller opponents.
Dejounte Murray: 5 points (0-10 shooting, 5-6 from Free throw line), 10 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal, 2 turnovers in 21 minutes
Murray had a tough night finding his shot. In the half court on pick-and-rolls, defenses are prepared for his strength which is his driving ability, so they’re constantly hard hedging or going under on screens to have two bodies near the lane for his layup attempts. Because Murray couldn’t get near the rim, he had to rely on his outside shot which was not converting for him on this day. Like White, Murray’s assists numbers were only limited to four because his teammates didn’t convert all of his passes to them for open quality looks. Though he wasn’t scoring as much, Murray continued to stay active on the glass, as he collected a team-high 10 rebounds, mostly on the defensive glass, where he initiated the fast break afterward.
The Summer Spurs will finish the Utah portion of their Summer League schedule with a game against the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday at 6:00 PM CST.