Trio of White, Murray, and Walker bring edge to San Antonio Spurs
By Ethan Farina
The new San Antonio Spurs got out and running in their first scrimmage
After months of waiting and wondering the San Antonio Spurs finally took the court again yesterday. It was only a scrimmage against the Milwaukee Bucks, but seeing the Spurs playing against another team was a welcome respite sight.
San Antonio would end up handily losing to one of the frontrunners for the championship but there was still plenty to like about the Spurs performance. The young guys got their time to shine, rotations were different than what we had seen for much of the year, and even the rookies got some run.
The first Spurs scrimmage also had an interesting change-up in coaching that had to excite Spurs fans. Becky Hammon got the lead while Gregg Popovich sat on the sidelines in the assistant spot. Handing the reins to Hammon is something that we’ve supported for a while. It’s just one scrimmage but we hope there’s more of this when the Spurs get to the regular season games as well.
Hammon did a good job of leading the guys through the first of three scrimmages but what she had to say after the game was over should be an encouraging sound to all Spurs fans.
Going young is a point of focus for the San Antonio Spurs
After the scrimmage, Tom Petrini of KENS5 asked Hammon about the upside of playing the trio of Lonnie Walker, Dejounte Murray, and Derrick White together and what she likes about that group.
Here’s Becky Hammon on why she played the trio of Dejounte Murray, Derrick White and Lonnie Walker IV together pic.twitter.com/IDiNHwuCTP
— Tom Petrini (@RealTomPetrini) July 23, 2020
The quote that stood out most was Hammon leaning into the idea of playing White and Murray together more, as opposed to having them run their own units, as had been the norm for much of the regular season.
“The big thing is seeing DJ and Derrick playing together and giving them a bit more chemsitry instead of stictly one running one group and the other running the other group.”
Hammon would go on to highlight the pace that the Spurs were playing at, pointing out that aggressiveness on both ends of the floor was something that San Antonio is looking for more of. With players like the aforementioned trio, as well as Jakob Poeltl, Keldon Johnson, and Bryn Forbes, the Spurs have the personnel to play at one of the faster paces in the league. Yet they finished as a middle of the pack team in terms of pace. Changing that is something that’s going to be a real point of emphasis over the course of these scrimmages and wrap up games.
The Spurs certainly did come out fast yesterday. We got to see Lonnie pushing the pace and dishing it off to others for easy looks, there was a Derrick to Dejounte alley-oop that surely got some fans out of their seats, and, in general, there seemed to be a greater sense of urgency about the teams play.
It’s only one game but the young Spurs look like their fully ready to seize this moment and make a statement when regular season play opens up. Even though the final score wasn’t too close, they gave the Bucks a good fight early on. This is not a team to overlook and they could make some noise after they get a few more scrimmages under their belts.
The next scrimmage for the San Antonio Spurs comes tomorrow against the Brooklyn Nets.