The Spurs played their second game of the NBA Las Vegas Summer League tonight against the Raptors. It was a hard-fought battle that went down to the wire, but the Raptors emerged victorious, 82-76. Jonas Valanciunas led the way for the Raptors with 19 points, and Terrance Ross chipped in 14. For the silver and black, Cory Joseph and DeShaun Thomas both had 16 points.
Here are my thoughts on the game:
- For the second game in a row, the best Spur on the floor was Cory Joseph. He finished with 16 points on 6-14 shooting, but he also had 6 assists and 6 rebounds. He was the full package, getting the team into their sets, getting teammates the ball, and bailing out the team late in the shot clock. He had 4 turnovers again, but he has obviously been asked to be more aggressive, and playing faster than normal can lead to increased turnovers.
- Jonas Valanciunas was a monster offensively. Aron Baynes, who defended him for most of the night, stood no chance as Valanciunas got whatever position he wanted. Every time he would get the ball, it would be so deep in the post that he could just face-up and drive to the middle where he would either get a great look with a running hook, or draw a foul and go to the line; where he scored 11 of his 19 points. He had a little bit of foul trouble himself, recording 6 (He didn't foul out, though. In summer league a player fouls out at 10 fouls.) in the game. He's arguably the best player at summer league right now, and is setting himself up to have a nice sophomore campaign.
- DeShaun Thomas had another nice night shooting the ball, scoring 16 points on only nine shots. Again, he was mainly a shooter out of pick-and-pop plays, and spotting up from the free throw line. Defensively he had his miscues, missing some rotations and being a little late on closeouts. But, the effort was there, and that's extremely important for him. Keeping that effort level, that energy level high in the future could bode well for him.
- My player to watch for the game, Hollis Thompson, had anther quiet game where he kept doing the right things. He kept rebounding, defending, and playing within the system all night long; and even had a big play down the stretch where he stole an inbounds pass right under the bucket and scored with an and-one to keep the game alive. Now, I don't think that Thompson has a shot to make this team. and if anyone is added to the Spurs from the summer league roster it's likely to be be DeShaun Thomas because of the Spurs forever needing more shooters. But, I still enjoy watching Thompson play. In a way, his game reminds one of cliches like "He does the little things" and "He plays the right way." It most likely won't be with the Spurs, but Thompson has a game that will help somebody somewhere in need of a role player.