San Antonio Spurs 100, Washington Wizards 85: Good news you guys, the preseason is over
AT&T CENTER — For some teams, the preseason is about figuring out who is good enough to make the team, what players can play together and implementing new systems. For the Spurs, they’re really just trying to stay healthy.
Featuring six players in double-figures on the night, the Spurs beat the Wizards 100-85 in the year’s last preseason game. Any sort of narratives were few and far between, so here are some observations from Friday night’s game:
- Kawhi seemed a lot more aggressive offensively against Washington. Having not shot well for most of the preseason, Leonard put the ball on the floor and attacked the basket; he reminded more of Summer League Kawhi than preseason Kawhi. He finished with 11 points and shot six free throws against the Wizards. He also re-did his braids with a fancy new design.
- Saw some good things from Danny Green on the night. He didn’t shoot particularly well (3-7, 1-5 from 3), but he showed really good court vision, making a lot of passes that I don’t remember him making last season, including one where he pump-faked in the corner and drove to the hoop, making a nice little shovel pass to DeJuan Blair for a wide open layup. Could be a result of increased “corporate knowledge” and a greater comfort level in the system. His only made 3-pointer came off the dribble after he came off a pick. That could be an interesting development, or a one-off.
- There was a funny moment in the second quart where Gregg Popovich called for the fabled 4-Down play. Parker set up the offense and dropped the ball in to Boris Diaw in the post, because Tim Duncan is a center, whether he wants to admit it or not. The Spurs ended up with a shot clock violation on the play and on the way up the court, Tony Parker asked Pop, “Did you want that to go to Boris?” Pop just nodded. Poor Tim Duncan, even his teammates know he’s not a power forward.
- Tim Duncan seemed like he was pushing the limits of his outlet passing in the third quarter. He made a lot of passes just out of reach of the defenders where only his teammates could get it, but they were close. Can’t imagine he’d try some of those in a playoff game, but that’s what preseason is for.
- Nando De Colo isn’t going to play a whole lot when games are competitive, but he’s going to be a Garbage Time All-Star.
- I like that Stephen Jackson is the only person in the world that I’m aware of who calls Manu Ginobiili “Gino.”
- After the game the Spurs announced that the team waived Josh Powell and exercised the team options on Cory Joseph and Kawhi Leonard. I watched RC Buford put envelopes in the lockers of Leonard and Joseph during the post game media session, and I’d imagine those envelopes involved the team options. I always assumed that stuff was handled digitally.