The Spurs took on the Milwaukee Bucks today in their consolation game at the NBA summer league Friday night. The guys that are already on the Spurs' roster didn't play at all today. This was a game for the hopefuls to get the spotlight on them, and play for a possible training camp spot, if not for the Spurs then for someone else. A few guys took advantage of the opportunity.
- Hollis Thompson was amazing in this game. He finished with 21 points on 8-12 shooting, including 2 threes. He displayed some offensive ability that I didn't know he had, as he shot well from long range, cut well to the basket, and even scored off the dribble. Of course, he still played well on defense and rebounded well, in typical Hollis Thompson fashion. His performance in this game, and his solid showings in all of the other games this summer league are probably good enough to earn him a training camp invite this year. It may or may not be with the Spurs (I hope it is), and I think he'll have to spend another year in the D-League to develop more offensively, but it seems he'll have a little bit of a future in this league.
Ryan Richards, San Antonio's second round pick in 2010, finally had a good game. Before summer league began, Richards was the subject of a lot of discussions between Spurs fans, hoping he would be able to make the leap to the league. As the week went on, it appeared that that all such talk was premature. He didn't get a whole lot of minutes coming off the bench, and when he did, he was far from great. He missed the jumpers he insisted on taking. Defensively, he wasn't great in one-on-one situations, and was often late on rotations. That changed a bit on Friday, as he was able to make some shots, going 8-12 from the field for 18 points. He showed confidence in his jump shot but also mixed it up with some post ups that required the Bucks defense to double team him. I think that if the Spurs want to accelerate his development, they should bring him over to play for the Austin Toros in the D-League. He remains a project, but he's still only 22 years old, so he's still going to improve.
- The Spurs' last two late second round picks, Deshaun Thomas and Marcus Denmon, didn't shine as bright as they have at times this week. Thomas continued his mini-slump after coming out of the gates scorching hot, and only connected on three of his nine attempts. Denmon was no better from the field, going 3-11 but he made up for it with great rebounding from the guard position and solid playmaking. They both look like they could play in the league one day, although they still need a little more polish.
- Nate Wolters of the Bucks had a tremendous day. He had 20 points on 8-13 shooting, and looked so good running the offense. He was great in pick-and-roll, as has been the case for him in this summer league. Really, the biggest difference for Wolters in this game is his shots actually fell, instead of rimming out as they had been. He also was able to show off his ability in transition. The guy has some potential to shine in this league and could get a chance early if Brandon Jennings leaves the Bucks.
This marks the end of San Antonio's exploits in Las Vegas, but it does not represent ours. We'll be covering the rest of the tournament until the end on Monday; so keep looking out for new summer league coverage throughout the weekend.