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Dairis Bertans outshines Jahlil Okafor in first Summer League game

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Dairis Bertans is better than Jahlil Okafor?

The Spurs kicked off the 2015 Utah Summer League with a 74-71 victory over the 76ers.

Tonight gave us a great opportunity to check out some of the Spurs' more intriguing prospects in Livio Jean-Charles, Cady Lalanne, Kyle Anderson, and Dairis Bertans (the older brother of 2011 Spurs' draft pick, Davis Bertans). Since it's the Summer League, where everything's made up and the points don't matter, I'll just go through how each of the notable Spurs played.

Livio Jean-Charles

Jean-Charles was extremely active defensively. Most Summer League players aren't particularly solid with defensive fundamentals, so it was refreshing to see Jean-Charles always aware of where his man was off-ball and provide some well-timed help-defense. Two cool things that happened: 1) Jean-Charles swatted six shots in a mere 23 minutes of action (including multiple on Jahlil Okafor) and 2) he had a nice block/alley-oop sequence to seal the victory. Livio still has some work to do, especially offensively where he showcased a nice passing game (including a beautiful pass to Dairis Bertans for a corner three) but little range on his jumper.

Cady Lalanne

Lalanne was highly aggressive on both ends of the floor to start the game - hoisting jumpers from just about anywhere on the floor and pounding highly touted prospect Jahlil Okafor on the other end. He has a gorgeous, quick shooting stroke, and is as much of a gunner as a big man can be. There were times he appeared to genuinely frustrate Okafor with his active defense, which is thrilling considering how stellar a player Jahlil is offensively. This aggression did rack up fouls (eight in roughly 26 minutes of action), but at least he didn't get the 10 fouls necessary to foul out in Summer League, so that's something, right?

Kyle Anderson

Oh boy, I'd love to tell you some good news here, but KA is as sleep-inducingly slow as you probably remember him being. He certainly has the handles and court vision to be a solid role player in the NBA, but he's still way too slow to hang with his man in isolation plays or beat his man off the dribble on the other end. He's apparently modified his shooting stroke over the summer under Coach Engelland's supervision, but it's still too slow and the form appears inconsistent from shot-to-shot.

Dairis Bertans

Dairis was the Spurs' high point man with 19 points on 6/10 from the field, including 5/8 from three. The older Bertans has a game that screams "Patty Mills". He shoots with absolutely no hesitation, dribbles serviceably, and grinds down opposing ball handlers with some pesky full court defense. Dairis has plenty of professional basketball experience overseas, and is the key piece to the Latvian national team. He's developed a high BBIQ, and seems like he'd fit perfectly in the Spurs' system. We even saw a zipper set where Bertans hit an uncontested three after coming off of two off-ball screens that was straight out of Pop's playbook. I'd be stunned if he isn't, at the very least, a training camp invite.

Roscoe Smith

Roscoe Smith is a 24-year-old undrafted sophomore wing man out of UNLV. He was a pleasant surprise by providing an energetic punch off of the bench. His isolation defense was intimidating and disruptive. Unfortunately, his jumper is sub-par and he's a notoriously low BBIQ player who frequently lost his man off-ball tonight. He has some potential, but he's not the typical player the Spurs would take a risk on.

The Spurs finish off the second half of a Summer League SEGABABA against the Utah Jazz at 8:00 PM CST.