The good guys gave it a go but could not roll with the Thunder. Julian Champagnie and Zach Collins lead the team with 13 points apiece while Victor Wembanyama cleaned the boards to the tune of 14 rebounds. Malaki Branham provided some lift off the bench with 11 points, and Devonte’ Graham dished out a team-high 7 assists.
Although the game spelled another loss for the young Spurs, they will almost certainly soak in the learning opportunity to grow from the experience.
There were still some notable highlights like this Malaki Branham cut to the basket for a dunk off of a pretty bounce pass from Jeremy Sochan. Sochan ended up with 5 assists, and his point-forward experiment rages forward, but dimes like this are a good way to keep improving.
On this play, Devin Vassell went tough in the paint for the difficult two. A lot has been written about the tournament court colors, but really, it looks like someone let my kid go in unsupervised to coordinate all of the gaudy color combos. At least she kept it in the lines!
For a real assault on your eyeballs, check out last night’s game between the Mavericks and the Pelicans. Those colors make the slime color coordinator at Nickelodeon look like a monochromatic emo.
Champagnie, here, made the right choice and fed the big man an easy bucket. Plays like this look so easy, and it often feels like you could just Sega Dreamcast NBA2K1-style mash the pass/shoot button to Wembanyama over and over again until the score is 200 to 50 and call it a game. I haven’t played a console game since the Wii so excuse my outdated references.
Take a moment from deciphering the tournament rules (like if it’s a tournament, why isn’t it played in one location or at most four? And why isn’t Dick Vitale yelling enthusiastic hyperbole at my face through my television?) to appreciate this Doug McDermott three pointer after he smoothly rounds the corner off of a Zach Collins screen.
Champagnie stepped into the starting lineup on Tuesday night and made the most of his minutes by finding good looks for his teammates. He also went 3 - 7 from downtown to help boost his season-long shooting numbers.
One person’s skill would just literally and metaphorically go over another person’s head. Like in this instance, Wembanyama’s around-the-back dribble would just go over my head if I were standing next to him. Nevertheless, the big man’s flair for mild in-game theatrics was on display early on. The Spurs’ prized rookie will look to continue to start games aggressively, and sustain that energy to keep his teammates involved and hopefully lift the team to some wins.
pullin' out the moves early pic.twitter.com/MmFRwKV7Qa— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) November 15, 2023
If you missed the Spurs game because you were busy watching the basketball game that broke out during the WWE Royal Rumble between the Timberwolves and Warrior, here are the full-game highlights:
Next up, the Spurs head home to take on the Sacramento Kings on Friday, November 17, 2023.