Preseason: Houston Rockets 90, San Antonio Spurs 87
TOYOTA CENTER — It wasn’t a packed house and there wasn’t a lot of fanfare, at least not for the silver and black, but the San Antonio Spurs finally tipped-off their season on Thursday night in a 90-87 loss to the Houston Rockets. Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich mixed both veterans and roster hopefuls in his lineups throughout the night.
“I was just trying to give everybody a chance to show what they can do, and get ready for the season at the same time,” Coach Popovich said after the game.
DeJuan Blair led the Spurs with 12 points and eight rebounds. Blair was in the starting lineup alongside Tim Duncan, in what could be a fixture for San Antonio. Blair and Duncan worked well together, especially on the offensive end where each players movement and spacing seemed to complement the other.
“Because [ Blair] can pass, he can play with Timmy,” Coach Pop said. “I just think he’s going to be a very good player for us.”
With Duncan and Blair in the game, the Spurs controlled the boards. Both players finished the first half with four rebounds, Blair’s all came on the offensive end, Duncan’s on the defensive.
Richard Jefferson was also in the starting lineup on Thursday night, and after a summer working with Coach Pop and Chad Forcier to fine-tune his role on the team, Jefferson finally got to show what he could do.
Though 2-9 shooting from the field doesn’t look pretty, the way in which he got it, did. Jefferson showed almost no glimpses of the uncertainty and hesitation that hindered him in his first season with the Spurs. Instead, Jefferson shot the ball in rhythm and attacked the basket when he got the chance.
“I think he’s been aggressive looking for his shot, they didn’t fall tonight but he looked for it,” Coach Pop said. “We want that aggressiveness out of him.”
It wasn’t the best start he could’ve had, but it is definitely one to build upon.
“I thought he worked hard on ‘D,’ and he’s in very good shape,” Pop said. “So, just what we want him to do.”