The San Antonio Spurs went up against the Atlanta Hawks in their third game of the NBA Las Vegas Summer League Monday night. It was a high-scoring affair for summer league, but the Spurs eventually pulled it out, 96-87 behind exceptional nights from Nando De Colo and Aron Baynes. And now, for some notes:
- DeShaun Thomas has won me over completely. I am now a fan of his, and if the Spurs choose to not bring Gary Neal back, then I would prefer Thomas over any other reasonable possibility. Tonight he had 17 points on 7-15 shooting, but more important than what he did tonight is what he has done through the course of the week: he has simply been consistent. He is able to score in a variety of ways, whether it be on a catch-and-shoot, off-ball screen, or drive to the basket, he will score. Another thing I've been impressed with is his willingness to pass and keep the ball moving. At Ohio State, he was their main option; everything ran through and ended with him. Now he does things like get a decent look at a three, but still zips it in down low to Aron Baynes for an easy two. I'm still not high on his defense, but if he's willing to be a team guy like he has been on the offensive end and puts in the effort, I expect that to come in time.
- Coming back from a couple bad games to start the week, Nando De Colo played out of his mind. He scored 19 points on 8-12 shooting, including 2-3 from three. He was a whirling dervish again, slicing his way through the Hawks defense to the lane, and dishing out 8 assists to his teammates, playing with shades of Manu Ginobili's game. He also played a lot of minutes at the PG slot, which was a change from him playing the 2-guard position where he's spent the bulk of his time in Vegas. Later it would come out that he played minutes there because Cory Joseph was a little "banged up" (h/t to @Matthew_Tynan), but no matter what the reason, De Colo played well.
- Another player that had a monster night was Aron Baynes. He scored 19 points on 9-16 shooting, and also snagged 15 boards. He was matched up against Lucas Nogueira for most of the night, and Baynes' massive 6'10", 254 lbs. frame proved to be too much to handle as he had his way with him in the post.
- Mike Scott was easily the best player for the Hawks in this game. The birthday boy recorded 27 points on 7-17 shooting, with 13 of his points coming at the charity stripe. He was aggressive all game, getting to the hoop whenever he could. Truly a great performance to have on your birthday, even if it came in summer league.
Here are the highlights of the game.
Note: The Spurs don't play on Tuesday, but just like every other day, there will be a recap of every game I'm able to attend..