There were plenty of positives to take away from the Spurs crunch time loss to the Bulls — outside of their signature fourth quarter collapse, of course — and perhaps the biggest one was the resurgent play of Lonnie Walker. After three games of averaging just three points in 17 minutes (plus missing one game in between with a sore knee), Walker has risen back up for the last two games, including a 21-point night off the bench on an efficient 9-17 shooting, 2-4 from three in Chicago.
He played the way everyone wants to see every night: aggressive, unafraid, attacking the rim and letting his outside game come to him instead of forcing it. It was the type of performance the Spurs will need from him as the sixth man going forward now that Devin Vassell has moved to the starting lineup.
Walker wasn’t the only role player who had a nice game in Chicago. Doug McDermott took it to his old team early to get the Spurs offense rolling with his signature off-ball movement as part of his seven early points (and 19 total), and later hit another three while trailing the break off an amazing defensive play from Devin Vassell.
Doug getting buckets early with a quick 7 PTS pic.twitter.com/nXNZdiGrlt— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) February 15, 2022
While he will need time to fully get into shape, Zach Collins continues to show flashes of the the versatile game he can bring to the second unit as backup center, including the ability to stretch the floor.
Dejounte Murray came back down to earth a bit after having a historic two-game stretch, but the fact that a 19-point, 11-assist game from him is now considered “meh” tells you how far he has come. He wasn’t able to match DeMar DeRozan’s fourth quarter heroics to lead the Spurs to victory, but he still showed off some of signature moves.
Finally the full game highlights. It was a fun game outside the final two minutes, so don’t let the final score keep you from checking it out!