NBA Summer League: Spurs vs. Lakers Grades
Jun 06, 2012; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook (0) drives past San Antonio Spurs small forward Kawhi Leonard (2) during the second half in game six of the Western Conference finals of the 2012 NBA playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-US PRESSWIRE
Kawhi Leonard: ALeonard was the unequivocal best player on the floor. Jeff McDonald of the SA Express-News likened his talent akin to a varsity player toying with the JV team. And, really, that assessment couldn’t be more spot on. Leonard was, once again, expected to channel his inner Manu Ginobili in pick-and-rolls. He created for himself off the dribble; a facet of his game that Spurs fans didn’t see last season. He made a couple of difficult contested shots off screens. Leonard also made the correct pass the majority of the time. I can’t think of much more to say.
Cory Joseph: AAside from getting burned by Darrius Morris occasionally; Joseph had yet another performance that directly contradicted his expected performance. Offensively, Joseph has proven to be proficient on scoring off the pick-and-roll. He still struggles to find the roll man as he’s more inclined to take advantage of the deficient Summer League defenses. Which is fair. With that in mind, I was especially impressed when he split the pick-and-roll before finding Marcus Denmon wide open in the corner. I wrote about why we should be patient with CoJo and his performance tonight was exactly why.
Tyler Wilkerson: AWilkerson has solidified himself as one the most reliable big men on the team. As a result, he earned 12 more minutes than Eric Dawson and Luke Zeller. He didn’t disappoint; Wilkerson showcased an adequate mid-range jumper and he excelled at cleaning up the glass, totaling eight rebounds including four offensive. Considering Luke Zeller hasn’t done much and Dawson didn’t play well; Wilkerson is an intriguing dark horse for the final roster spot.
Marcus Denmon: C+Denmon has been increasingly unimpressive. He does have a knack for finding crevices of space and he’s a good shooter but he doesn’t appear to be proficient enough to overlook his small frame. San Antonio won’t give up on him as he earned more minutes than the much more effective James Anderson.
James Anderson: B+Anderson isn’t going to return to San Antonio regardless of how well he plays in Vegas. But he posted one of his most complete performances in a Spurs uniform. Anderson created off the dribble in addition to making a couple of spot-up jumpers. He only missed two of seven shots. Defensively, I didn’t notice anything worrisome. Anderson needs to continue to play at this level to warrant interest from other NBA teams.
Luke Zeller: DI have an, admittedly, irrational affection for stretch 4’s. Zeller certainly fits the above criterion. He did knock down a nice corner 3-pointer, a shot the Spurs love, to stretch the lead to nine points. Other than that, not so much. His problem is that he won’t fill a pressing niche and he can’t do anything else to give ample support for his shooting. He’s average defensively, at best.
Eric Dawson: C-I like Dawson. Though undersized, he’s cognizant of where he should be and where to position himself down low. I think he has a decent chance st claiming the wide open final roster spot if he can continue to rebound and bring his requisite energy. Other than a couple of boards, he commited four personal fouls in a mere 15:30.
Alexis Ajinca: FI came in expecting a much different player. Instead I was treated to a lanky center that turned out to be a liability against pick-and-rolls. Ajinca allowed the ball handler to turn the corner too often and get into the teeth of defense. He isn’t mobile, can’t shoot (his only points came from a tip-in) and, if he can’t keep up with anyone or at least impede their progress, will have little chance of making the Spurs’ roster. Bleh.
Dwight Buycks: DHe happened to lose his man on a cut to the rim. He only logged nine minutes. Nothing spectacular.
Derrick Byars: DByars didnt appear in the Spurs’ first game. Upon entering the game he created an easy transition opportunity for Buycks which was nice.
JaMychal Green: Inc I would like to see more from Green, who is comparable to Brandon Bass in that he’s mobile and can score from the perimeter, before I assess his game.
Ryan Richards: FI’m giving an F to the Spurs for only giving him 3:14 of playing time.
Alexis Wagmene: IncHe played 32 seconds more than he did.