2. Dejounte Murray Posts Another Triple-Double
Dejounte Murray quietly took over this ball game. His 18 points, 10 rebounds, 11 assists, three steals, and at least two forced turnovers showed a spectacular effort on both ends of the floor. He went 0-3 from deep and had at least one opportunity to turn down a three and get another assist via Devin Vassell, but he is a floor general after all, and I commend the shooting confidence. The Spurs need him to shoot more.
This was his third triple-double of the season, and if Drew Eubanks could catch passes down low, he might have five or six. Excuses aside, Murray is rapidly becoming the best two-way guard in the league and he is looking a lot like a prime John Wall on the fast breaks with his long strides and graceful moves towards the basket.
That being said, looks can be deceiving as Dejounte Murray is already better than John Wall ever was, and the Spurs are lucky to have an instant difference-maker on their team who forces critical turnovers and grabs clutch late-game steals.
3. The Spurs Drew Fouls and Got the Ball Back
The Spurs drew 15 fouls and forced 18 turnovers, which is slightly better than the rest of the Suns’ opponents have managed. What struck me, however, was the way they drew fouls. Drew Eubanks got a whistle three times on defense, giving the Spurs back possession. Murray could have racked up five steals if he didn’t poke the ball off a Sun and out of bounds.
These drawn fouls and turnovers could have won the game for the San Antonio Spurs, except they shot only 50% from the line as a team. I knew it would be a rough game after I watched Keldon Johnson miss both free throws in the first quarter. Had they sunk their normal 70%, they would have won the game.
I commend drawing fouls as a part of an offensive and defensive scheme, but they needed to convert them into points on the board. They had no issue doing that on turnovers, as they scored a lot in the fast break, which is no surprise. If they can finish what they’ve been starting, they will be a much better team.