Jonathon Simmons has quite a future ahead of him. Luckily for the Spurs, they saw some potential in him as a raw prospect and decided to develop him further.
The Spurs season opener versus the Golden State Warriors was filled with just about everything.
The team executed on both sides of the ball to perfection.
To be honest, there was one play where Coach Gregg Popovich called a timeout to speak with Pau Gasol about not closing out on a Stephen Curry three pointer.
That moment came and went as the Spurs continued to play their game within the flow of the team game they always play.
Oct 12, 2016; Orlando, FL, USA; San Antonio Spurs guard Jonathon Simmons (17) dribbles the ball against the Orlando Magic during the second half at Amway Center. San Antonio Spurs defeated the Orlando Magic 95-89. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
It seemed as though everyone was sharp and completely focused at the same time.
The Warriors played their usual game as well, but just couldn’t hit shots at the rate they’re used to.
It was a record night for Kawhi Leonard scoring a career high 35 points, but even more captivating was his teammate Jonathan Simmons.
Simmons played the Scottie Pippen to Leonard’s Michael Jordan.
He scored 20 points in 28 minutes, and acted as the perfect perimeter compliment to Leonard.
He hit a buzzer beater, he scored on midrange jump shots, he blocked shots in fashion that reminds you of LeBron James, and he even threw down a ferocious tomahawk jam over JaVale McGee just prior to the final buzzer.
The team set the tone for the way they would like to play during the season, and Simmons stepped up to the plate to assume more responsibility as Popovich had asked him not long ago.
This game can be considered Simmons’ coming out party. Last season went well, but this was the first opportunity on a national scale where he was able to show off his talents.
He’s young, athletic and hungry. He worked his way to this point from the Austin Spurs before a short stint with the Brooklyn Nets, and it looks like he’s here to stay.
Simmons can be a valuable asset on the perimeter for the Spurs. His jumper needs some improvement because he’s not a huge threat from the outside, but he’s the perfect slasher that loves to attack the basket strong.
Not only will he be able to draw fouls with more experience, but he will constan
tly put pressure on the defense from his attacking style of basketball.
The Spurs usually find diamonds on the international stage quietly, but they may have struck gold again by giving this young man a chance.
Check out his highlight dunk at the end of the game below.