The San Antonio Spurs and Sacramento Kings will, for the second time this preseason, go head-to-head.
The San Antonio Spurs kicked off their preseason on Monday night, with a game against the Sacramento Kings. This took place at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, CA, as each team displayed their new look, following the wild 2017 offseason.
At the end of the 48 minutes, the Kings stood tall and won, 106-100. It was a preseason game, so it will not have consequences toward record. However, the turnaround will be unique for both teams, as they face off on Friday, Oct. 6 in a second preseason tilt. The AT&T Center in San Antonio, TX will host this.
The first game did not see Kawhi Leonard, Tony Parker and Rudy Gay play for the Spurs. Leonard was ruled out for the preseason. Parker will not play until November or December, due to a quad injury. Gay was cleared from a ruptured Achilles, but Gregg Popovich chose not to play him.
Without these players, the Spurs rolled out a starting lineup of Dejounte Murray, Danny Green, Kyle Anderson, LaMarcus Aldridge and Pau Gasol. None played significant minutes, as they shared time with the rest of the nearly 20 players the team rostered for the preseason.
Aldridge led the way, with 17 points in just 15 minutes. He even hit one 3-pointer, something he worked on in the offseason. Patty Mills chipped in 11 points and three assists, while Joffrey Lauvergne had 10 points in his team debut.
These players could be factors for Friday’s game. Although since it is the preseason, the playing time might be divided differently, with one game under everyone’s belts.
Viewing details for the game are below:
Date: Friday, Oct. 6 Time: 8:30 p.m. ET Location: San Antonio, TX Venue: AT&T Center TV Info: No broadcast Live Stream: No stream
What will be the story for Game 2 against the Kings? Let’s preview the action.
Next: Perimeter play
Working on the offensive and defensive perimeters
The San Antonio Spurs and Sacramento Kings played a close game on Monday night, but the difference came down to 3-point shooting, or a lack thereof. The Kings shot nine for 20 from behind the arc, while the Spurs made eight of theirs, but on 33 attempts. It was not an efficient evening, which cost them the game.
Danny Green and Davis Bertans combined for 1-11 from 3-point range. It was just a preseason game, so the struggles cannot be a concern for these players.
For Derrick White and Brandon Paul, with a combined zero games-played in the NBA regular season, they will be watched more. These two combined for just two 3-pointers on eight attempts. With both players vying for playing time, getting on the right track will be necessary on Friday night, to make the most of their minutes.
On the opposite end, the Spurs were hurt by rookie Frank Mason and 3-pointers made by a handful of Kings. Mason was the only player to hit more than one.
San Antonio, in general, had trouble defending the point guard position. Mason had six of his 17 points from behind the arc, while driving to the lane and creating contact (he had six free throw attempts). Look for increased work on the defensive perimeter from Dejounte Murray and Patty Mills, especially the former, if he gets the start.
Next: Will Rudy Gay play?
Will Rudy Gay play?
On Monday night, Rudy Gay missed the opportunity for a Sacramento homecoming, as Gregg Popovich did not play him. Gay spent the past three-plus years on the Kings, after a midseason trade in the 2013-14 season.
The last time the 11-year pro played, he ruptured his Achilles at the Golden 1 Center, Sacramento’s home venue. So it would have been a coincidental but redemptive moment for him, as he could step into the arena he went down in and prove his health. He must wait until later in 2017 for this opportunity.
As of this writing, Gay’s status for Friday’s game is unknown. If Popovich wants him ready for the regular-season opener on Oct. 18, he will need a few reps under his belt, especially in an offer he is unfamiliar with. There are three preseason games after the Kings rematch for this, so it is not guaranteed the UConn product gets his chance to play.
If Gay does play, his role will be something to watch for. The Spurs did not roll out a small ball lineup for an extended stretch on Monday, opting for combinations of Aldridge and Gasol, Lauvergne and Gasol, and sporadic playing time for Bertans and Amida Brimah in the frontcourt. With Leonard out for the preseason, the minimal use of small ball lineups may continue, as he and Gay play the small forward position. The former will get the starting nod there in the regular season, so a role needs to be carved out for the 2006 first-round draft pick.
The Spurs vs. Kings kicks off at 8:30 p.m. ET on Friday, Oct. 6.