Kyle Anderson: A Key to the Spurs Bench

By George Middleton

Jul 11, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; San Antonio Spurs guard Kyle Anderson (1) shoots against the defense of New York Knicks center Kristaps Porzingis (46) during an NBA Summer League game at Thomas & Mack Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Anderson gave everything the San Antonio Spurs hoped for in the Summer League. It was evident that Anderson made improvements in multiple areas of his game. Anderson looked quicker and showed flashes of an improving jumper.

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In seven Las Vegas Summer League games, Anderson averaged 21 points, 6 rebounds, and 1.1 steals. The Spurs went 6-1 and went on to beat the Phoenix Suns in the Summer League Championship. This is quite the improvement from his rookie season, in which he averaged 2.2 points and 2.2 rebounds in limited action.

Just to give you an idea of his improvement, in the 2014 Summer League he averaged 8 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 assists.

Why Will He Be Important Off the Spurs Bench?

The Spurs lost Aron Baynes, Cory Joseph, and Marco Belinelli in the offseason. Those were three of their primary bench contributors. The Spurs did replace them with David West and Ray McCallum, but that’s not enough. Someone else will have to step in and it will be Anderson.

The 6’9 point-forward is a terrific asset off the Spurs bench, because of his versatility. He can play some point guard, small forward, and power forward. Anderson can play on the ball as he can look to set-up the terrific shooting backcourt of Patty Mills and Manu Ginobili.

Anderson’s IQ is what separates him from the pack. He has an incredible feel for the game that he’s shown since his days at St. Anthony High School and his collegiate days at UCLA.

Coach Gregg Popovich tends to give players like Manu Ginobili, Tim Duncan, and Tony Parker days off, which only means that Anderson will be used more.

Anderson is also only 21-years old and he will be a vital part of the Spurs future.

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