It’s pretty hard to find positive takeaways or much worth “highlighting” from one of the worst losses in franchise history, but there’s a silver lining to everything. Amidst the clobbering the San Antonio Spurs received from the Philadelphia 76ers, one thing stood out early (besides Danny Green laying it on his old team), and that was Derrick White appears to be finding his form again.
While his overall shooting performance of 4-11 is nothing to write home about, and he clearly isn’t 100% yet, his 17 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 blocks, and defensive effort showed he’s getting there. His overall performance included hitting 3-8 from three, which is something the team will need from him on a nightly basis to help space out the starters.
Derrick White is one of the best all-around defenders in the league when healthy. Dude does everything as he again defends the post by grabbing the block off Harris and takes the ball the other way pic.twitter.com/2K5ifu3B4g— Ty Jäger (@TheTyJager) March 14, 2021
If there were any other positives to take away from this game, it was the play of Lonnie Walker IV with 15 points on 6-7 shooting and Drew Eubanks (17 points, 9 rebounds on 6-10 shooting) off the bench. In my opinion, Walker should have gotten more than 15 minutes considering he played a role in keeping the Spurs close in the first half, especially considering they were getting absolutely nothing from both Patty Mills and Rudy Gay, and Eubanks was energetic and showed no fear going up against a former superstar in Dwight Howard.
Last but not least, it may have been garbage time, but Luka Samanic continued to show his recent play has been no fluke, and he’s ready to take the next step. Considering Trey Lyles has been a complete no-show in his two starts while DeMar DeRozan is away, I wouldn’t even take issue if Pop have Luka his minutes tonight in Detroit (assuming DeRozan doesn’t return, no word on that just yet).
Personal highlight: For the first part of the first quarter on NBA TV, they were using the 76ers broadcast, which was not surprising since they were the home team, and I must say they weren’t bad at all. They were very complimentary of the Spurs as a team and organization, and their color commentator even had an observation that he is not the first one to make: that one could easily mistake masked Pop for Donald Sutherland.
And then, out of nowhere coming back from a commercial break, it switched over to the Spurs broadcast the rest if the way, which I ended up being grateful for because I’m sure the 76ers announcers were having having a blast as it became a blowout, and I would have muted it.