The Spurs played their final game in the Utah summer league games, and there were many exciting things that happened, especially the debut of Dejounte Murray.
Murray, the Spurs’ 29th overall pick , made his debut after finally getting his paperwork done, to join the team after almost missing the games altogether. San Antonio had to take care of business first in order to get a contract to Murray. His debut on Thursday made it official.
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Murray was glad to finally get a start, and to get back on the basketball court. That’s a good sign for Spurs to see your young draft pick is eager to play, and learn from the very beginning. He later
about the wait, and how he felt while sitting in limbo.
I was telling the team, the coaches, my agent, like Man, you got to text me everyday.I just want to play. I ain’t played since the NIT game when [the Washington Huskies] played San Diego State. So I’m just anxious to get back on the court and go up and down. Play a real game.
It’s finally here,.I’m just ready to go out and play.
How did it go, and what kind of impact did Murray make in his debut game on Thursday? Let me start off by saying he was a bit rusty. He hadn’t played for awhile, but was inserted into the lineup to play 24 minutes and ended with 4 turnovers. That’s about the extent of bad news that can be pulled from the game.
There was no disappointment for the rest of the night, and Murray performed spectacularly, finishing with 21 points on 8-for-12 shooting, adding five rebounds and an assist. If this is the kid the Spurs are really getting, he showed exactly why some think he could be a steal.
Although he stated he wouldn’t try to do too much in the game, the game came to him repeatedly, and he scored in droves, getting to the basket, running in transition, and displaying his athleticism, which should excite Spurs fans everywhere.
The Spurs haven’t quite had a point guard this explosive before, but there was a glimpse of the future on Thursday. Murray can play off the ball, and if he finds and opening, there will be a pass to find him. Take a look at Murray’s awareness on the Kawhi Leonard alley-oop play.
Sharing ball handling duties with Kyle Anderson seemed like a perfect fit for Murray. Running the floor and applying pressure to the defense is something to look out for. It has helped that Murray trained with Clippers guard Jamal Crawford, because you can see the similarities in their game. He is tested against NBA talent, so he’s not afraid to go right into the teeth of the defense to score.
Look and see how Murray has no issue quickly getting up court and finishing strong.
Adding a young versatile athletic point guard will do wonders to help the Spurs, as they continue to adjust to aging players, re-establishing who their stars are in the future, and retooling the roster to remain competitive in a strong unforgiving western conference.
Pairing him with Simmons, and Anderson on the court in transition can be a killer combination. He doesn’t need to be the recipient of a great pass to get to the rim, because he knows how to do it himself. It can’t be said enough about his ability to finish at the rim while contested by the defense.
If there is anything else to take from Murray’s first game in summer league is that he is dangerous and relentless in the open court.
— NBA TV (@NBATV) July 8, 2016
The Spurs lost the game on a last second buzzer beater by Terry Rozier losing to the Celtics 87-86, but it’s hard not to think the Spurs walked away pleased with what they had just seen.
Murray had a chance to express how he felt after the game, and what it was like to finally get back on the court:
I haven’t played a minute yet and I just wanted to play basketball again because that’s what I love to do. At the same time, I know I had to slow down and let the game come to me.