The San Antonio Spurs headed to Gainbridge Fieldhouse to take on the Indiana Pacers. This was just two days after coming off of their season-opening loss to the Charlotte Hornets, 129-102, and the start of the Spurs 4-game road trip.
The Indiana Pacers were also coming off their season-opening loss as well, after getting defeated by by the Washington Wizards, 114-107.
Coming into this game, the Pacers ruled Myles Turner (ankle) and Daniel Theis and Chris Duarte (Game Time Decision- rest) out of the game. The Spurs had no team injuries to report coming into this game.
- Josh Richardson was in another world with his shooting tonight, making 6 of 7 from deep, and recording 27 points. This is a complete turnaround from the game against the Hornets where he was rusty with his shooting and didn’t put anything on the board.
- In the first quarter, Pop was visibly upset with a missed call on the sideline after Devin Vassell had a facial collide with his defender going to the rim. It was an obvious foul, and these no-calls will almost always get a passionate reaction out of Pop, and rightfully so.
- Tre Jones is definitely showing improvements as a three point shooter, especially during this game. He looks confident, is aggressive during transition offense, and has been fast and explosive.
- Pop kept either Keldon Johnson and Devin Vassell on the floor throughout the first quarter. Although we are only two games in, this seems to work out in the Spurs’ favor if they keep either player on the court at all times. The Spurs have taken the lead so far with this stack.
- The ball movement has been so much better tonight as opposed to the season-opener. This team looks like a completely different team than we saw for game 1. They look more cohesive, fluid, and just overall better on both sides of the ball. So far, they are making far fewer mistakes than they did in the first game.
- Devin Vassell has played incredibly well tonight. He had a couple of nice mid-range jumpers, and a nice steal early in the second quarter. It was fun watching him make a new career-high 23 points. In the 4th, James Johnson had not choice to foul him because he would have made a huge dunk. Once he went to the line, he made his final two points. Shortly after, Pop took him out of the game. One can only imagine what his score would be if he remained in the game longer.
- Jeremy Sochan plays great defense. Keep in mind, he still has to get acclimated to the NBA timing of the game. Earlier in the pre-season, he said he was getting used to NBA style as college-style basketball moves at a faster pace. It’s going to be great watching his growth as he gets adjusted to the timing.
- When you look up a team player in the dictionary, Josh Primo should be one of the names that pops up. He was great on the assist tonight, recording 7 overall.
- Keldon Johnson was upset at the foul call in the 4th quarter with 7.29 remaining. Let’s talk about Keldon for just a second. He was consistent in game one, and he’s consistent today as well. I’m excited to see if he keeps up with his consistency, as he was criticized last year heavily for his lack of being consistent. If he can have multiple games with 20+ points, double-doubles, etc., he will easily be my favorite player on the team.
- PRIMO WAS NOT OUT OF BOUNDS. I will die on that hill.
- In the 4th quarter, the edge started to slip a little bit. There was lack of communication on the court, missed rebounds, and coach Pop was yelling at the team to secure the basketball. He was instructing Tre Jones to inbound the basketball immediately after free throws. Their transition defense was not the best and the Spurs started getting aggressive with the Pacers. After a 21 point lead at the end of 3rd quarter, their edge started to slip and they were within 8 within 2 minutes left of the game.
- Keldon Johnson and Bennedict Mathurin were fighting for that basketball, and it reminded me of the “nasty” that coach Pop likes to see. Personally, I love the aggression.
- A “take ball” was called. Which means a foul occurred after the possession. These kind of calls are not challengeable. With that call, any player can make the free throw. The Spurs chose one of their high-scorers, Josh Richardson, to make the free-throws of course. He nailed both.
- Halliburton showed up in clutch time after a foul was called on Keldon Johnson for reaching. This resulted in an and-1. Shortly after, the Spurs got the ball stolen. Luckily, they had two missed shots. These are the types of moments where the Spurs show they need to grow. There are a lot of small mistakes being made under pressure. Luckily, they had a massive lead in the 3rd to offer some padding to keep the lead.
- Speaking of mistakes, the Spurs have shot 38 free-throws tonight due to Pacers fouling. So if we’re having a mistake contest, the Pacers are easily winning in that category tonight.
- Rebounds are important, the Pacers cut the lead to 4-points due to an offensive rebound by the Pacers followed by an immediate steal and score. Yikes. Cover your eyes. This is getting very, very close.
- Josh Richardson is clearly having a great shooting game today, and is excellent in his clutch free throws in the 4th quarter. His last two free throws within the final minute of the game gave the team a very necessary one possession lead after he committed a foul.
- Tre Jones held on to the ball with his life before he was fouled, and made both of his free throws. The lead is now 137-134. Pacers called a time out. Let’s see what happens.
- Halliburton missed the final 3. That’s game.
This game was close. I had to clutch my pearls more than once. I might have even grown a new grey hair during this game. How satisfied were you with this game overall on a scale of 1-10? Let me know.
The San Antonio Spurs head to Philly to face the Philadelphia 76ers tomorrow night at 5 P.M., CST.
For the Pacers perspective, visit Indy Cornrows.