In a scrimmage of runs, Brooklyn withstood a late run by San Antonio for the win. The Spurs were bolstered by solid efforts from Derrick White (22 points, 4 assists), Jakob Poeltl (12 points, 11 rebounds), and Lonnie Walker IV (14 points). Caris LeVert led a balanced Nets effort with 27 points and three rebounds, while Rodions Kurucs chipped in 19 points and four rebounds.
- This is just how we imagined an NBA 2k practice game would look like in real-life, right?
- The starting troika of Derrick White, Lonnie Walker IV, and Dejounte Murray happened again!
- Jakob Poeltl impressively completed a series of moves on Nets center Jarrett Allen that was need with a balletic layin. Poeltl later drove into the lane off the catch for a sweet floater in the opening stanza.
- Walker IV seems to get to the basket in myriad ways with ease, and even when he misses the shot, it frees up the trailing big an opportunity for a rebound or tip.
- Rudy Gay honorably represented the midrange brigade to mixed results. With visibly tired legs, Gay also fumbled two balls out of bounds in the backcourt in the second half.
- Marco Belinelli’s first two makes? Both on awkward fading leaners. Never change, MB.
- White continued his impressive pick-and-roll execution - stringing along his defender for a 3-point play in traffic. White more importantly converted four threes - both off the catch and of the pull-up variety.
- Keldon Johnson garnered significant playing time and swatted away an early Nets shot attempt in the lane to kickstart a fast break in the first quarter. Later in the game, he converted a change-of-direction baseline bank shot, and a pair of difficult off-balance 3-point plays.
- Nets analyst Ian Eagle referred to an Allen putback dunk as the “Fro Flush.” Eagle also poetically narrated a Spurs basket as a “hanging J by Rudy Gay.”
- The continued growth of LeVert (along with Spencer Dinwiddie) could be unfairly stunted by the expected returns of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving next season.
- Sequence of the Game: Early in the third quarter, White cleanly stripped Allen while he was gathering for a dunk at the rim, which turned into a Walker IV knifing layup in transition, and was concluded by a charge drawn by White.
- Brooklyn applied pressure on the Spurs’ ballhandlers - blitzing the Spurs 11-2 in the first three minutes. White and Poeltl combined to bring San Antonio back. Brooklyn took advantage of Tyler Johnson’s and Rodions Kurucs’ hot shooting to close out the quarter within three of the Spurs.
- At the start of the second period, Kurucs soared into double digits on makes from all over the court, while Murray found success on his drives. White also continued his forays to the rim and netted 18 points halfway through the quarter. Brooklyn took and made more three-pointers than their counterparts and forced several turnovers to gain the momentum. The teams finished an entertaining half tied at 57.
- DeMar DeRozan started things in the third quarter with a driving layup, while Brooklyn went to the pick-and-roll often with LeVert and Allen to surge ahead. Former Spur Garrett Temple connected from distance back-to-back to help the Nets go up by ten. At one point in the period, and despite this being a designated ‘home’ game for the Spurs, the Nets logo and lettering were virtually etched onto the court while the surrounding screens had the Spurs signage. The Nets exited the period up 96-88.
- A reserve lineup of Drew Eubanks, Gay, Johnson, Bryn Forbes, and Belinelli tied the game at 101. Eubanks, in particular, was a force to be reckoned with on the offensive boards and turned away four shots at the rim. Gay briefly put the Spurs up by two with free throws, while Chimezie Metu and Luka Samanic received “crunch-time” action. A Forbes jumper briefly put San Antonio up by four. The Nets bench executed better in the halfcourt while making San Antonio’s possessions increasingly difficult to regain a six point advantage. With Forbes and Belinelli being the only scoring threats, Brooklyn was able to get enough stops to claim the scrimmage.
- Former Spurs, Sean Marks and Jacque Vaughn, Brooklyn’s General Manager and Interim Head Coach respectively, are possibly the first branches of Pop’s coaching tree in both positions with one organization at the same time.
For the Nets fan’s perspective, please head over to Nets Daily.
The Spurs have the last of their three scheduled scrimmages against Malcolm Brogdon and the Indiana Pacers Tuesday, July 28 at 2:00 PM CT. The Pacers are absent forward Domantas Sabonis, who suffered a foot injury yesterday.