San Antonio Spurs: Austin’s G League championship, highlighted
By Rob Wolkenbrod
The San Antonio Spurs G League affiliate, the Austin Spurs were highlighted in a recent video package.
While the San Antonio Spurs did not make noise in the NBA postseason, their G League counterpart, the Austin Spurs, delivered a playoff run to remember this spring. That led to a championship in the inaugural use of the “G League” moniker.
Austin toppled the 905 Raptors in two games (the G League plays Best-of-3 series) to win the title, behind the play of familiar Spurs faces and players who sent time with the NBA roster in 2017-18.
In a video from the Austin Spurs Twitter account, this team’s remarkable championship run was highlighted. That included a perfect postseason run as the No. 1 seed to win the title.
A dream season, on and off the court. pic.twitter.com/FO1Z8rc8VJ
— Austin Spurs (@austin_spurs) May 22, 2018
Through the 2017-18 season, Austin was carried by multiple players. It started with San Antonio’s 2017 NBA Draft picks.
Jaron Blossomgame, the organization’s second-round pick, stayed in the G League all season. He shot 54.5 percent from the field for 16.5 points, 8.2 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game in 50 games (48 starts). This earned him G League Third Team honors.
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Derrick White, the No. 29 overall pick in 2017, attacked the opposition for 20.1 points in 28.2 minutes per game. He bounced between the G League and the NBA in 2017-18, but there’s a possibility the latter becomes his permanent home next fall.
On top of the in-season stats, White put together a terrific title-clinching game, with 35 points on 11-for-21 shooting (10-for-10 from the free throw line). Will this playoff experience come in handy at the upper level?
Behind the picks was Darrun Hilliard, who the Spurs signed to a two-way deal before the season started. His 23 points fell behind White’s output, as the two led the team to a Game 2 victory. However, the journeyman forward actually topped White in points per game (20.7) on 47.5 percent shooting and 40.2 from behind the arc.
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These players were integral parts to Austin in 2017-18. It’s unknown if Hilliard and Blossomgame will return to the organization, but White is locked into a contract through 2020-21, pending the Spurs exercise his team option for 2019-20 and 2020-21. Either way, there are pieces to be excited about that can play at the NBA level.