Danny "V3rd3" Green is one of those rare guys. When he's feeling it, he can make pretty much anything he throws up from beyond the arc with a Curry-like touch. The man many have called IcyHot hit all six of the threes he hoisted Friday night. Even more impressive, despite the fact it was a preseason game, was his defensive effort on James Harden. The MVP candidate was held to 17 points on 6-13 shooting in 29 minutes of play, and Green drew the defensive assignment for most of that time. I look for a great season from Danny this year as he solidifies his place among the league's best shooting guards. He's also fluorescent.
LaMarcus Aldridge took a risk this offseason. He gambled that, at the age of 30, he could find a way to fit his already-developed game into the most cohesive, machine-like basketball system in the league, all the while maintaining his elite production and taking the mantle from the greatest power forward of all time. And it really took until Friday night to see it all come together. Aldridge showed a level of comfort I'd yet to see as he played with the starting five. His cuts, passes, defense, and decisions all showed marked improvement over the previous games. We take preseason results with a grain of salt, of course, but I take a warm and fuzzy feeling away from last night's contest. The man can pop.
Kawhi wasn't so much Kawhi last night, but it didn't matter much. Seems as though he's been on cruise control at times in this preseason, but don't be surprised to see him come out guns blazing and re-assume his upward trajectory when the regular season begins.
It already sounds cliché, but Boban Marjanovic is a large man. Physically speaking, the BUS will be the most imposing figure on the court this year, no matter who he's playing. He seems less polished than Aron Baynes was when he entered the league, but I believe the Serb's ceiling is higher. If he can get used to the tempo of NBA basketball, find his comfort zone within the San Antonio system, and develop a few strong post skills, he could turn into a very special asset down the road.
Kyle Anderson has had a solid preseason, and it continued last night. Though he missed his four free throws and made a few mistakes, including a particularly ugly turnover early in the game, SloMo also shot 4-6 from the field and looked in charge when he was on the floor. That kind of attitude will help him become a contributor faster, which the Spurs definitely need from him.
Manu and Tony each had moments when they looked spry, and they each had moments when they looked out of sync. Parker found some lanes to the basket due to Aldridge demanding constant attention, and Ginobili once again wowed us with his typical head-turning passes. The Spurs need both guys to resurrect their careers a bit this season, but we just can't yet predict if and when that will happen.
Jonathan Simmons had another disappointing outing. He finished a highlight-reel dunk with authority but otherwise was ineffective. His long-term chances with the team are not looking promising as of now. The Manu comparisons are looking less likely than ever.
Reggie Williams joins the ranks of Jimmer and Co. as he was waived after the game. The 15th spot is Rasual Butler's, for now. Job security for that spot is something he will have to earn in the regular season, because since the Sacramento game, he's done almost nothing.
David West is one tough fella. He'll have an important role on this team soon. He's figuring things out right now, like Aldridge, and his learning curve will be a bit steeper, but he'll be a valuable rotation piece for this squad in time. And he's a very different player than Boris Diaw.
Hyped. pic.twitter.com/5jcRkVPITk— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) October 24, 2015
Manu playing like it's the Buenos Aires YMCA— Jeff McDonald (@JMcDonald_SAEN) October 24, 2015
Danny Green is making all the threes and now there isn't any left for anyone else.— Michael Erler (@MichaelErlerSBN) October 24, 2015
Another Parker/Aldridge pick and pop. Aldridge drills the jumper, he has 17 points. That's def going to be a thing this season.— Paul Garcia PS (@PaulGarciaPS) October 24, 2015
Turns out, it wasn't blood. Just strawberry jam Harden had caught in his beard.— Jeff McDonald (@JMcDonald_SAEN) October 24, 2015
Bob Marjanovic, the Car Czar of the tri-state area, doing work— Geoff Sheen (@geoffsheen760) October 24, 2015
Hey cool Patrick Beverley, nice technical foul in the final two minutes of a 25-point preseason game.— Jeff McDonald (@JMcDonald_SAEN) October 24, 2015
Asked Aldridge if he planned to return to the court to shoot more jumpers tonight? "Nah. I'm done." #Spurs— Jabari Young (@JabariJYoung) October 24, 2015