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Player Grades from Spurs' Play-In Loss to Pelicans

Will Eudy
Brandon Ingram, Zach Collins
Brandon Ingram, Zach Collins / Sean Gardner/GettyImages
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San Antonio Spurs
Naji Marshall, Larry Nance Jr., Keldon Johnson / Sean Gardner/GettyImages

Keldon Johnson

It's fair to say Keldon Johnson was one of the bigger disappointments in this game. For much of the night, he didn't look at all like the player we'd seen him evolve into this year. One of the guys the Spurs were counting on to hit big shots from outside went a puzzling 0-for-5 from distance.

Keldon struggled mightily in the first half, missing all six of his shots, getting blocked twice, and committing an offensive foul. He didn't make his first shot from the field until just under the four-minute mark in the third quarter. Thankfully, he was able to somewhat salvage his performance with a late-game push, where he appeared to regain some of his usual composure and focused aggression.

It didn't seem like the moment was too big for Keldon, but more that he simply picked a bad night to have an off game. He reflected this in his postgame presser. "No excuses," said Johnson. "I have to show up and be better. It's a 48-minute game."

Grade: C -

San Antonio Spurs
Joshua Primo / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

Josh Primo

In the first postseason game of his young career, Josh Primo earned the start from coach Gregg Popovich yet again, which has to be a major confidence boost for him going forward. Getting minutes in the regular season is one thing, but Pop doesn't exactly have a long history of starting rookies in meaningful games such as this.

In terms of what Primo brought to the floor against the Pelicans, he did his job for the most part without actually seeing a ton of playing time. In 10 short minutes, he didn't turn the ball over, grabbed a pair of defensive rebounds (an area the Spurs struggled against New Orleans), and did all you could ask of a 19-year old guarding Brandon Ingram.

While he didn't make a shot from the field, this was a night where he didn't need to do anything spectacular for it to be a net positive for him.

Grade: B

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