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Spurs D-League Report: The development of Dejounte Murray and Bryn Forbes

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Episode 2 of the D-League recaps.

NBA: Preseason-San Antonio Spurs at Orlando Magic Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

This is the second D-League update of the season. The first is here.

Spurs @ Blue (6 DEC 2016)

Score:

88-89, Spurs lose

Top Performers:

Charles Garcia: 20 PTS, 1 REB, 1 AST, -14 +/-

Jarell Eddie: 18 PTS, 5 REB, 4 AST, 6-15 FGM-A

Cory Jefferson: 8 PTS, 14 REB, 0 AST, 7 OREB

Player Takeaways:

Patricio Garino:

Garino struggled mightily from the field this game, finishing with eight points (five of which came off of free throws). He also only managed three rebounds and one assist in 35 minutes.

Charles Garcia:

Garcia seems to be one of the more consistent Austin Spurs, which is quite impressive considering Garcia has yet to log a single NBA minute. While the prospect watch rankings say otherwise, the D-League star looks NBA ready.

Cory Jefferson:

While Jefferson struggled to score, going 4-14 from the field, he grabbed 14 boards, half of which came from the offensive glass. Cory Jefferson plays like the type of player that Jean-Charles was supposed to be.

Spurs @ Warriors (9 DEC 2016)

Score:

103-109, Spurs lose

Top Performers:

Dejounte Murray: 10 PTS, 15 REB, 13 AST, 2-19 FGM-A

Charles Garcia: 18 PTS, 8 REB, 0 AST, 7-13 FGM-A

Cory Jefferson: 22 PTS, 8 REB, 3 AST, 5 PF

Player Takeaways:

The Big Club:

Dejounte Murray:

Murray earned a triple-double (with 15 rebounds, 13 assists and only 4 turnovers), but finished with an EXTREMELY inefficient shooting night, connecting on two of his 19 attempts. He grabbed the most rebounds in the game — impressive for a guard. If Murray develops to the point where he is playable next season, the additional boards would be welcome.

Other Players:

Cory Jefferson:

Jefferson played well this game, starting off with an and-one assisted by Murray, and hitting all four of his attempted threes. If Jefferson could stay out of foul trouble, he would probably be in the NBA by now.

Ryan Arcidiacono:

While Arcidiacono didn’t have a good game in terms of the box score, he was the steady hand that the Spurs needed to make up for Murray’s appalling night from the field. Arcidiacono was one of only two players that had a positive +/- in this game.

Spurs @ D-Fenders (10 DEC 2016)

Score:

96-119, Spurs lose

Top Performers:

Cory Jefferson: 22 PTS, 5 REB, 0 AST, 10-15 FGM-A

Maurice Bolden: 12 PTS, 2 REB, 1 AST, 12 MIN

Dejounte Murray: 11 PTS, 5 REB, 7 AST, 5 TO

Player Takeaways:

The Big Club:

Dejounte Murray:

Murray shot better than he did against the Warriors, but he didn’t have the same rebound-assist magic that he had the night before. This was, nonetheless, a decent showing for Dejounte. One thing to note about Murray is that his turnover numbers have dropped over the last few games, which is a good sign for the kid.

Other Players:

Cory Jefferson:

Jefferson scored his points from all over the floor, with some dunks, threes and midrange jumpers. At this point, Jefferson is one of the better bigs in the D-League, with the ability to stretch the floor, grab boards and finish strong at the rim. Jefferson is valuable to Austin, especially with the lack of bigs on the roster.

Spurs @ Energy (15 DEC 2016)

Score:

100-96, Spurs win

Top Performers:

Cory Jefferson: 23 PTS, 10 REB, 0 AST, 9-17 FGM-A

Jeff Ledbetter: 17 PTS, 1 REB, 2 AST, 21 MIN

Dejounte Murray: 21 PTS, 7 REB, 5 AST, 3 TO

Player Takeaways:

The Big Club:

Dejounte Murray:

Murray’s turnover rate has plummeted since the start of the D-League season, and he’s starting to get a feel for the point guard position. Murray was aggressive, and while he did occasionally force the issue, this was great showing overall.

Other Players:

Jeff Ledbetter:

Ledbetter provided the spark that the Spurs needed off the bench, finishing with 17 points, 12 of which came from deep. The 28 year old (!) statesman started off the D-League season with little playing time, but has certainly carved himself a role on the team.

Spurs @ Skyforce (16 DEC 2016)

Score:

103-116, Spurs lose

Top Performers:

Charles Garcia: 24 PTS, 7 REB, 0 AST, 6 PF

Demetri McCamey: 19 PTS, 3 REB, 2 AST, 7-10 FGM-A

Cory Jefferson: 14 PTS, 12 REB, 2 AST, 5-9 FGM-A

Player Takeaways:

The Big Club:

Dejounte Murray:

Murray struggled quite a bit this game, finishing with more turnovers (7) than assists (6). Despite the poor performance, this game seemed more like an anomaly than a trend. Murray is only one year out of college and is extremely raw, so these up and down games should be expected, even in the D-League.

Other Players:

Charles Garcia:

Garcia is the most consistent player on the Spurs’ roster by far (as I mentioned before at some point). He played well, but eventually fouled out near the end of the fourth quarter.

Spurs @ Knicks (18 DEC 2016)

Score:

120-106, Spurs lose

Top Performers:

Bryn Forbes: 23 PTS, 4 REB, 0 AST, 2-3 3PM-A

Cory Jefferson: 16 PTS, 10 REB, 0 AST, 5-10 FGM-A

Charles Garcia: 21 PTS, 4 REB, 2 AST, 5 PF

Player Takeaways:

The Big Club:

Dejounte Murray:

Murray was less than stellar against the Knicks, scoring only eight points on 3-11 shooting.

Bryn Forbes:

Forbes, on the other hand, was on fire the whole game, consistently hitting shots from all over the floor. Defensively, Forbes isn’t anything to write home about, with the third lowest on/off defensive rating on the team (his DRtg is a ghastly 112.3 per 100 possessions).

Other Players:

Cory Jefferson:

Jefferson played like his usual self, snagging double digit boards, and scoring his points off the pick and pop, pick and roll and putbacks.

Spurs @ Stars (20 DEC 2016)

Score:

103-92, Spurs win

Top Performers:

Bryn Forbes: 28 PTS, 2 REB, 1 AST, 4-5 3PM-A

Dejounte Murray: 18 PTS, 4 REB, 4 AST, 4 TO

Cory Jefferson: 13 PTS, 13 REB, 3 AST, 5-13 FGM-A

Player Takeaways:

The Big Club:

Dejounte Murray:

Dejounte is leaps and bounds better than the start of the season; he doesn’t look lost on the floor the way he used to, even though he CAN be a turnover machine at times. His shooting is probably his greatest concern right now, hitting only 12% of his threes so far. Hopefully his 2-of-3 night from deep is a sign of things to come.

Bryn Forbes:

Forbes IS the best shooter in Austin, and could be the best shooter on the Spurs’ roster in general. Forbes is currently shooting a scorching 59% from 3.

Other Players:

Cory Jefferson:

Jefferson is one of the better players on the D-League roster. He uses the threat of his jump shot to open up scoring opportunities for his team.

Spurs @ Bighorns (21 DEC 2016)

Score:

105-108, Spurs lose

Top Performers:

Bryn Forbes: 29 PTS, 6 REB, 0 AST, 7-9 3PM-A

Dejounte Murray: 17 PTS, 11 REB, 8 AST, 6 TO

Cory Jefferson: 17 PTS, 10 REB, 0 AST, 6 PF

Player Takeaways:

The Big Club:

Dejounte Murray:

In this game, Murray looked comfortable, especially when playing with Forbes. While Dejounte was in his turnover machine mode, he played lockdown defense, and scored with floaters and layups.

Bryn Forbes:

Forbes was on fire. He finished with 21 points off three point shots alone, making seven of his nine attempts. Forbes is an incredible shooter. To reach the next level, Forbes needs to look to develop himself as a distributor (similarly to Mills) to makeup for defensive mismatches on the other end.

Other Players:

Cory Jefferson:

Jefferson is prolific in the low post, simply because he can shoot out of the post. Also, if you fall for the pump fake, he will beat you and every help defender.

Final Thoughts:

Bryn Forbes and Dejounte Murray have shown a lot of improvement from the start of the NBA season.

Charles Garcia is consistent.

Cory Jefferson and Jarell Eddie are the main contenders to get a 10-day contract from an NBA team.

Patricio Garino has regressed quite a bit from the last D-League article. I’m not exactly sure whether or not this is a slump.