The Spurs held their annual Silver and Black Scrimmage Thursday night, although it may have skated by unnoticed by some with the odd timing of a week night after the preseason has started — the result of the NBA beginning the regular and preseason earlier, therefore leaving just one week for actual training camp.
Below are some observations from the scrimmage, and you can watch the entire thing by visiting the Spurs’ Facebook page. Due to some technical difficulties, the broadcast doesn’t begin until about the 13:50 mark, and tip-off begins just after the 23-minute mark.
nothing but good vibes tonight— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) October 11, 2019
run the tape ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/xc8vimHSx0
- LaMarcus Aldridge and Jakob Poeltl started alongside each other once again, with Drew Eubanks starting at center for the other side. Gregg Popovich still seems to really like starting two bigs, but with Aldridge taking and making a three for the third time this preseason, it could work better on offense than it did last season. Also, they will likely see staggered minutes more often than they will be on the floor together.
- Probably the biggest takeaway from the night is the Spurs were not afraid to pull up from three. Some of that could be attributed to the lighter mood of the scrimmage, but Becky Hammon mentioned after their recent preseason loss to the Heat (in which they only took 13 threes) that it was something that needed to be addressed. Hopefully the scrimmage got them into the right mindset in that regard.
- On the other hand, scrimmages can also lead to some sloppiness, and there were plenty of strips in transition last night. Some of that was good defense, but some of it was simply carelessness by the ball handlers. It was a bit of an issue last season as well, and assuming the Spurs look to push the pace in transition more, it’s something they’ll need to work on.
- Bryn Forbes was red hot all night, knocking down threes and driving to the rim and finishing when the defense came charging out. It wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to suggest he is the Spurs’ best all-around shooter — which isn’t to say he’s the best at any particularly spot on the court, but he can get it done at all levels. The improvements and layers he has added to his game over the last few years have been remarkable. It will be interesting to see if he maintains a starting job this season to give the starters the space they need to operate on offense.
- Dejounte Murray also looked especially good last night, hitting 3 threes in the first half, all within the flow of the offense, from the top and wings of the arc, and with good form. It’s a good sign for the offense if he isn’t solely dependent on the corner three. He also showed the side of his game that was already there with good drives to the basket, getting out in transition, and solid defense. He still fell victim to a couple of strips himself, so that remains an area of focus for him to improve on as primary ball-handler.
- Overall, the rest of main rotation players had a solid night. The ball moved well in most of the typical line-ups. Marco Belinelli had a good outing with several of his off balance threes. Rudy Gay and DaMarre Carroll looked good on both ends at the forward positions, and Derrick White began to find his shot from outside as the game went on.
- Spurs fans finally got their first look at Trey Lyles. He had missed the first two preseason games after suffering a bout of pneumonia over the offseason. The scrimmage was his first 5-on-5 workout in two months, and he had only been doing 1-on-1s during training camp. He understandably didn’t do much in the scrimmage, but it’s good to know he’s on the mend.
- The Spurs rookies didn’t see a lot of time, but Luka Samanic flashed his potential while he was out there with a top-of-the-key three, followed by a help defense block of Lyles on the very next possession.
How about Luka Šamanić?— Noah Magaro-George (@N_Magaro) October 11, 2019
The 19th overall pick makes his presence felt with a spot-up three on one end and a block on the other.
This is the kind of two-way versatility that should have San Antonio Spurs excited for the rookies future with the franchise. pic.twitter.com/1CmdCfxOLV
The Spurs will continue with the preseason against the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday Oct. 13 at 3:00 PM CT. It will be top overall pick Zion Williamson’s first and last appearance at the AT&T Center until April due to a scheduling quirk, so if you want to see him in action be sure to go check it out!