Some thoughts on our first SL game:
A bit raw, we still need time to gel obviously, and that was apparent in turnovers and sometimes letting opponents get behind us, be it beating us down the court or back door cuts. But you also can't over analyze in a first of anything, just observe where to go from here.
That said, you can see that the consistent message of defense and ball sharing is being heard. Very good hustle and energy, and some of our turnovers were from passes that guys will be ready for after playing together a bit more.
Lonnie not surprisingly led the way. He's quicker in making decisions, showed an improved jumper, still great drive instincts, and good lateral movement in staying with his man. Maybe needs to sty in control and play within himself a bit more; sometimes a bit erratic and loses control of the ball, but this is far less noticeable than last year, so you could tell he's making strides. Assertive without tunnel vision, and gets his while getting others involved.
Drew showed some good post moves, solid rebounding and screens, and an improved out side shot with better range. Got to the FT line a lot, and made most of them. He's wiry but relentless and physical and coachable. Really good two-way pick up.
Of our three new Spurs, Quinn looked the most ready and comfortable out there. He's a smart player, isn't afraid of the moment, makes poised decisions, has a very good drive and outside shot, and is a tenacious defender. He's now our other two-way player, and I have a feeling he'll be forcing the big club to make some tough guard decisions before long.
Keldon stuck to his man like glue. Great feet and hustle, just pesky moving laterally not allowing drives and frustrating opponents to force a pass out. Gets after rebounds in the paint, and has really good instincts in putting it back in. Creative driver, not afraid to muck it up and get a bit dirty when getting after the ball. He's the type that will get lots weird off balance shots for and1's.
Luka you could tell was trying to show what he could do and was maybe adjusting to the game the most in some moments, and so he had a bit of a rougher start with some turnovers and trying to dunk twice but getting blocked and fouled hard when missing both. Still, he understands the game well, gets good position when posting, passes with fundamentals and great angles for receivers to make their moves. Really good instincts with help D and recovery for block attempts with quick hops; gets after rebounds and pushes the ball quickly in transition; deceptively quick and bouncy. Good stroke on his outside shot; gets to the basket quickly with lefty drives; tries to prove himself with assertive play, even if it doesn't always work. He's got loads of untapped talent - LOADS.
If he's as willing to work and is as focused on the mental side as he has talked about and as has been said about him, he's going to be lethal on both ends when he puts his game together. Needs to bulk up without losing quickness as he got bodied noticeably and it sometimes caused him to travel. I like that he didn't back down. Made a great play for the final bucket, I think a steal quick drive and dunk. Good handles and tried to show them with some behind the back dribbles to get around defenders. He's probably got the biggest road in terms of acclimating to the game on this side of the pond, but a wide skill set and deep desire to show what he can do.
I like what our young guys showed in the first game - raw, but talented and really wanting to prove themselves.
Ben Moore has some skill with driving and rebounding and Js. We didn't offer a QO, so hopefully he catches another team's eye.
Thomas Robinson is huge, muscular, and not afraid to use it. His straight line drives and hustle after rebounds is where his strength and tenacity showed the most. He's not the guy you want to take a charge from. Good hustle and showing that he has some game.
We allowed a 15-8 run to end the first half but went on several scoring runs in the second to pull away. I liked our adjustments in defensive cohesion, really good switching for a first game, with guys understanding for the most part of what to do and where to be. Once we clamped down defensively all the more and limited the turnovers, we got some good transition buckets and passing for outside shots. Good second chance opportunities generated from getting after the boards. We need to limit the turnovers, but that will come from getting to know each other better. That it's a function of wanting to share the ball rather than every man for himself and passing as a bail out is a good sign. On to the next one.