In their last In Season Tournament game, the San Antonio Spurs looked like an improved team. For long stretches of the game they held their own defensively, and were keeping pace with a high powered Golden State offense. They couldn’t overcome some high scoring runs from the Warriors in their 118-112 loss on Friday night.
Playing championship contenders closely in high stakes games are typically a good result for rebuilding teams. It’s understandable for fans to be frustrated after 11-straight losses, but the young Spurs fought tooth and nail against one of the premier teams in the league. It was a game full of highlights for the Silver and Black.
Particularly from a trio of Spurs. Starting with Keldon Johnson, who has been a consistent scoring presence for San Antonio. He put up 22 points, 12 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals against the Warriors.
He started the game with this hit ahead pass to Victor Wembanyama for an easy dunk. This is a pass many have begged the Spurs to make more often. Wembanyama can create advantages on the fast break if his teammates look up. What a dime from KJ to Wemby.
Johnson is one of the Spurs best rim finishers shooting 63.2% at the basket. We all know “big body” is strong, but it’s his combination of that strength along with good touch and agility that make him lethal in the paint. He’s showed off the euro-step in the last few games. It’s a pretty move that should make him even more effective at the cup.
Number 3️⃣ hittin' his third 3️⃣! pic.twitter.com/x2liT58fmd— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) November 25, 2023
Johnson has been shooting the ball well lately. He’s hitting 35.6% of his three-pointers this season, and hitting 37% of his catch and shoot attempts. Here he floats to the wing off the Jeremy Sochan, Wembanyama pick and roll. As the defense collapses to cover Wemby, Sochan makes a great read, hitting Johnson in rhythm for three.
Wembanyama put together another solid night against Golden State. He was a presence around the basket and in the mid-range, putting up 22 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 blocks.
✅ Victor block— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) November 25, 2023
✅ Doug threeeeee pic.twitter.com/v0UsMRnBUG
How about this block on Stephen Curry? His patented scooping floater has been money over the years, but Wembanyama erases it with ease. It leads to Sochan navigating the break, keeping the play alive with his dribble and finding an open shooter in Doug McDermott. This is great defense to offense for the Spurs.
Here is your Nerf hoop play of the game. Wembanyama is just ridiculous on the break. This play looks like how you would dunk on your little cousins at Thanksgiving.
Victor Wembanyama showing off that ELITE strength and footwork pic.twitter.com/xw4j7yak1H— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPoints) November 25, 2023
There were some nice post plays from Wemby in this game. He loves the fake middle, and go baseline for a hook move. It’s been hard for him to get to it with a lack of deep position, and double teams coming quickly. Once he is able to get into this move a bit faster, it should be an easier bucket for the rookie.
You can find more of Wemby’s highlights below.
Devin Vassell came off the bench once again for the Spurs and was an effective scorer. He had a team-high 24 points in 27 minutes. Vassell was active on the break, and showed off his deep bag that compliments his shooting stroke.
This is a nice compilation of some highlights from Vassell’s first half. He’s getting to his spots off the dribble, finding ways to attack the rim, all while being one of the Spurs best off-ball shooters. His go-to-scorer skillset is developing quickly. He’s a great compliment to Wembanyama on the perimeter.
You can find full highlights from the Spurs loss to the Warriors below.