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Spurs D-League Report: Evaluating Bertans, Murray and Forbes’ work in Austin

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Recapping of the Austin Spurs

NBA: San Antonio Spurs at Utah Jazz Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

In case you haven’t noticed, the Spurs have been sending Davis Bertans, Dejounte Murray, and Bryn Forbes up the highway to Austin to get the playing time that the big club can’t always offer them:

Austin to SA to Austin to SA to Austin...

And it’s time we took notice of the work the young guys have put in with the Austin Spurs, so I’ve watched the D-League games to give you an idea of what’s been happening when the rookies have suited up against other developing talents.

Spurs vs Blue (13 NOV 2016)

Score:

95-118, Spurs lose

Top Performers:

Davis Bertans: 22 PTS, 6 REB, 2 AST, 6-12 3PM-A, -24

Patricio Garino: 18 PTS, 4 REB, 4 AST, 7-10 FGM-A, -15

Dejounte Murray: 18 PTS, 6 REB, 7 AST, 3 STL, -28

Player Takeaways:

The Big Club:

Davis Bertans:

The dude played center. Yes, center.

Bertans shot well from deep, but was outrebounded on the other end due to his thin frame. (The whole team struggled to rebound the ball anyway, so you can’t exactly point a finger at Davis.) On the offensive end, Bertans helped the Spurs space the floor even with a defender in the face.

You see the shot where he crosses over his defender and shoots the pull-up three?

That’s not normal for a guy drafted in the second round.

Dejounte Murray:

Murray relentlessly attacked the rim, but struggled a bit to run the show. He finished the game with 18 points, but also six turnovers. Murray isn’t ready to play point guard, and is more of a combo guard at this point in his career. Hopefully Austin helps him develop more into a distributor.

Bryn Forbes:

Forbes struggled from the field, knocking down 2-of-8 from the field, and finishing with a team-worst -30. Forbes is a shooter, and not much of a defender – if his shot isn’t falling, he is a net negative for the team. Any good shooter is bound to have a shooting slump at any point in time, so this shouldn’t yet be a cause for concern. In fact, there were a series of Summer League games where Bryn couldn't find his shot at all, but eventually got through the slump.

Other players:

Patricio Garino:

Garino performed well, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets called up to the NBA. Most of his 18 points came in the third quarter, where he helped spark the Spurs’ offense. Patricio finished with three Kawhi-like steals by hounding the passing lanes. Unfortunately, he also turned the ball over six times.

Ryan Arcidiacono:

Arcidiacono’s impact on the game isn’t shown on the box score, and can only be seen when watching the game (you can watch every game on Facebook Live whenever you want for free =]). He plays suffocating defense, while setting teammates up for shots on the other end of the floor.

Spurs vs Bighorns (15 NOV 2016)

Score:

115-92, Spurs win

Top Performers:

Cory Jefferson: 20 PTS, 5 REB, 0 AST, 9-13 FGM-A, +11

Dejounte Murray: 14 PTS, 10 REB, 7 AST, 8 TO, +20

Cheick Diallo: 16 PTS, 10 REB, 0 AST, 4 OREB, +16

Player Takeaways:

The Big Club:

Dejounte Murray:

Murray showed flashes of point guard potential, but he’s still not completely polished. He finished the game with 7 assists, but also ended up with a team-high 8 turnovers. The Spurs will keep on sending Murray back to Austin, so expect him to receive the full Cory Joseph Rookie Point Guard treatment.

Other Players:

Cheick Diallo:

Diallo is a solid player, and it’s no surprise that he got drafted by the Pelicans. He finished the game with a double-double, including a team-high 10 rebounds (tied with Dejounte Murray and Livio Jean-Charles). He snatched four offensive boards, something that the Austin Spurs absolutely needed due to the lack of true centers on the roster.

Cory Jefferson:

Jefferson was huge in this game. He led the team with 20 points, finishing on athletic dunks and putbacks with the occasional jump shot and fadeaway throughout the game. Jefferson was energy in a bottle, and basically what we hoped we would get from Jean-Charles.

Spurs vs Bighorns (17 NOV 2016)

Score:

106-97, Spurs win

Top Performers:

Patricio Garino: 24 PTS, 8 REB, 5 AST, 7 TO

Cheick Diallo: 15 PTS, 8 REB, 0 AST, 4 BS

Ryan Arcidiacono: 12 PTS, 6 REB, 5 AST, 2-3 3PM-A

Player takeaways

Patricio Garino:

Garino has been hot early on in the D-League season, and this game was no exception. He was a perfect 4-4 from long range, and finished in transition more often than not.

Ryan Arcidiacono:

Arcidiacono played more like Villanova Arcidiacono as opposed to Summer League Arcidiacono. He hit threes, and set up teammates to get them involved in the offense.

Livio Jean-Charles:

Jean-Charles, finished the game with a bland 10 point, 10 rebound double-double. Most of his points off of jump shots and four of his 10 rebounds were on the offensive glass. He played with more energy, even though his lack of athleticism hampered him at times.

Spurs vs BayHawks (19 NOV 2016)

Score:

109-106, Spurs win

Top performers:

Bryn Forbes: 17 PTS, 1 REB, 2 AST, 1 Game Winner

Dejounte Murray: 16 PTS, 6 REB, 8 AST, 4 STL

Cheick Diallo: 21 PTS, 7 REB, 2 AST, +7

Player Takeaways:

The Big Club:

Bryn Forbes:

With the score tied up at 106-106, Forbes got a screen from the wing, caught the ball in the corner and rose up for the shot. Swish. Perhaps this shows how important a shooter can be.

Dejounte Murray:

Murray showed up clutch after nearly choking the game away. With Austin down 5 after a series of Dejounte turnovers, he scored 5 straight points, and assisted Cory Jefferson for an easy dunk, putting the Spurs up 3 (before Anthony Brown scored on a three-point attempt to bring the game to overtime). Murray was flawless in overtime, which is always a pleasure to see from a one-and-done player.

Other Players:

Cheick Diallo:

Diallo was the leading scorer for the Spurs, and earned a net rating of +7. He finished around the rim for most of his points, including an alley-oop courtesy of Dejounte.

Spurs @ Skyforce (22 NOV 2016)

Score:

105-82, Spurs lose

Top Performers:

Jarell Eddie: 22 PTS, 5 REB, 2 AST, 2 BLK

Ryan Arcidiacono: 4 PTS, 5 REB, 9 AST, -8

Livio Jean-Charles: 14 PTS, 10 REB, 1 AST, 2 OREB

Player Takeaways:

Jarell Eddie:

Eddie finished with 22 points on 4-11 shooting from long distance, but the most notable part of his stat line were the two blocks. The first possession, which ended up with a Skyforce steal, got erased by Eddie. Most of his 3s were assisted by Arcidiacono, and he assisted Garino for his own 3.

Livio Jean-Charles:

Jean-Charles is under-performing quite a bit, considering that he was drafted in the first round. With that aside though, Jean-Charles looks very promising, for D-League standards especially, and finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Ryan Arcidiacono:

Arcidiacono had a poor shooting night (2-8 FGM-A), but he made up for that by having 1 assist shy of a single-double (9 assists). Arcidiacono was in Spurs vs Kings summer league mode and generally looked great. (except for the 7 turnovers)

Cory Jefferson:

Jefferson came off the bench to score 14 points with 3 rebounds. Jefferson was 60% from the field, and provided some energy once Jean-Charles went to the bench.

Patricio Garino:

Garino was one of the considerations for the D-League player of the week (The award was given to Dakari Johnson). Just wanted to get this out.

Austin @ Grand Rapids (25 NOV 2016)

Score:

119-106, Spurs win

Top Performers:

Cheick Diallo: 20 PTS, 6 REB, 1 AST, 8-13 FGM-A

Jarell Eddie: 18 PTS, 3 REB, 1 AST, 2 BLK

Demetri McCamey: 16 PTS, 3 REB, 7 AST, 4-8 3PM-A

Player Takeaways:

Jarell Eddie:

Austin needed all of the points that they could have gotten from Eddie. During the 3rd quarter, when the Spurs and the Grand Rapids were tied up at 67 a piece, and with the Rapids having momentum, Austin responded with a barrage of 3pt shots from McCamey, Eddie and Ledbetter. Eddie was the human momentum stopper this game, and hopefully he can continue being exactly that for the good guys this season.

Cheick Diallo:

Diallo (and Garcia) played extremely efficiently in this game, due to the Grand Rapids not having a player over 6’8”. While Diallo (and Garcia) couldn’t get a rebounding advantage at all, both of them had an extremely efficient night, combining to shoot 37 points with 23 shot attempts (15 makes)

Charles Garcia:

See the above.

Demetri McCamey:

McCamey played solid minutes, and played an important role in sparking the Spurs’ offense in the third quarter, along with Eddie, Arcidiacono, Ledbetter, Garcia and Jefferson. McCamey is a really great shooter, and will help Austin quite a bit when Murray and/or Forbes aren’t there, assuming he doesn’t get called up.

Austin vs Greensboro (02 DEC 2016)

Score:

105-99, Spurs lose

Top Performers:

Jarell Eddie: 20 PTS, 3 REB, 2 AST, 4-8 3PM-A

Cory Jefferson: 19 PTS, 13 REB, 0 AST, 7-13 FGM-A

Patricio Garino: 18 PTS, 9 REB, 1 AST, 2-4 3PM-A

Player Takeaways:

Jarell Eddie:

Eddie scored most of his points running off screens, catching and shooting, along with an amazing assist to Jefferson by driving in and throwing the lob. The video here speaks for itself, honestly.

Patricio Garino:

Garino played like his regular D-League form. He finished 2-4 from 3, played solid defense, but most of all, showed why he was touted as a 3&D player out of college. Most notably, Garino finished 1 shy of getting a single-double on rebounds.

Cory Jefferson:

Austin vs Salt Lake City (3 DEC 2016)

Top Performers:

Dejounte Murray: 30 PTS, 8 REB, 7 AST, 5 TO

Cory Jefferson: 18 PTS, 7 REB, 0 AST, 6-9 FGM-A

Livio Jean-Charles: 6 PTS, 6 REB, 0 AST, 12 MIN

Final Score:

93-101, Spurs lose

Player Takeaways:

The Big Club:

Dejounte Murray:

Murray nearly finished with a triple double, and got surprisingly low turnover numbers this game (5). This game was a career high for Murray in terms of D-League points, where Dejounte finished with 30. If this type of control from Dejounte wasn't a fluke, he could be an extremely important asset for the good guys next season.

Davis Bertans:

Bertans couldn't find his shot, finishing 3-11 for the night, and 2-8 from 3. Bertans played a bit of center today, but couldn't capitalize on the floor spacing that comes with playing in a 5-out lineup. This is just a single off day for Bertans, so it shouldn't be much of a problem for Davis and the Spurs.

Other players:

Livio Jean-Charles:

Jean-Charles finished 3-5 from the field, scoring 6 points and grabbing 6 rebounds in just 12 minutes. Jean-Charles found a way to contribute this game in his limited minutes but is not call up material for an NBA team just yet.

Final Conclusions:

The Spurs went 4-4 during this fortnight.

Garino looks very promising, and it’s just unfortunate that the Spurs did not have enough space for the Argentine on the team.

Murray is showing flashes of being a point guard, but is not fully ready yet. He is quite turnover prone, but that’s to be expected with a rookie point guard .

Forbes is an amazing shooter, with the disadvantage of not being a great NBA defender. The Spurs can play him like they played Gary Neal.

Arcidiacono can handle the load when Murray is down in San Antonio.