The San Antonio Spurs played their third preseason game last night, but it was their first against an NBA team after playing two against overseas teams. The Spurs lost the contest 121-90 to the Phoenix Suns, but Tim Duncan, Tiago Splitter, Manu Ginobili, and Kawhi Leonard were all out and so was coach Gregg Popovich. Below are the biggest things to takeaway from the loss.
1. Austin Daye Shooting
Austin Daye is looking to secure a role as a versatile shooter on the Spurs team. Daye is 6″11 with excellent range and is only 26 years old. Off the bench Daye was sharp yesterday as he went for 17 points, connecting on 3-5 from three. He also added six rebounds in 20 minutes. If Daye can rebound solidly, he can be a key player for the Spurs this season, as everyone knows he can shoot it well.
2. Kyle Anderson Starts Again
While it is just preseason, there is still reason to look into Kyle Anderson receiving another start. Anderson started his second consecutive game last night. In 26 minutes, Anderson scored five points and grabbed eight rebounds. If his rebounding translates to the NBA, he will be a special player as he has an excellent handle and playmaking ability. Maybe he will have a role this season!
3. Shot Blocking?
With Duncan and Splitter missing the game, it’s difficult to expect many blocked shots from the Spurs. That’s still no excuse on the Spurs only getting one block shot (Aron Baynes). The Spurs had “zero” block shots in their second preseason game against Fenerbahce Ulker. The Spurs players must find ways to generate shot blocking, even when Splitter and Duncan are out.
4. Too Many Turnovers
The San Antonio Spurs are known as a team that rarely beat themselves. In last nights loss, they had 24 turnovers. Tony Parker, Kyle Anderson, and Cory Joseph had four turnovers apiece. In the first two preseason games the Spurs combined for 43 turnovers. It’s preseason but the Spurs must clean this problem up immediately.