On Sunday night after the San Antonio Spurs defeated the Atlanta Hawks, I began writing a scouting report of Spurs draftee Ryan Richards.
I said that I would give a report on each of Richards’ five Summer League games with the silver and black. Unfortunately, since it is the Summer League and the Spurs have to see if there are any hidden gems on their roster, they have to play different players each night.
Tuesday’s recipient of roughly 13 minutes of action was Frenchman Alexis Ajinca. Ajinca ended the game with two points on 1-of-2 shooting, grabbed three rebounds, and committed one foul.
The result of Ajinca getting those minutes was Richards losing minutes and only logging 3:14 minutes in the second quarter. So with such a small sample of Richards, I still scouted how he did in that minimum time frame in the victory over the Lakers.
This play was arguable. Richards received the ball at the top of the key, he then drove hard toward the paint and stopped quickly with his right arm barely in front. His defender flew about five feet and Richards was called for the offensive foul. I still give Richards props for catching the ball when the Spurs needed someone to attack the paint and he chose to do it.
On one play, Richards ran into the middle of the paint and received a pass. He used a hop step to put up a hook shot and his shot was blocked. He regained control of the ball and put up another shot, that shot was also blocked by the same defender.
On another play, I think it was Eric Dawson who set a screen, but then Richards too went and set a random screen. You could tell he was lost in the offense in that play, with more time though, he should be able to pick it up.
One thing the Spurs did when Richards was in the game was play full court defense. Richards was able to stay and help the guards in the full court, though they didn't make the Lakers turn the ball over, Richards showed his quickness could give the Spurs this option on defense.
Richards looked more aggressive when trying to secure rebounds. Unlike Sunday, even if Richards didn't grab the rebound Tuesday, he was at least hustling to be in the vicinity and try to get in on the play.
As the Spurs were playing full court defense, Richards got switched onto a small forward. At first the forward tried to get by Richards, but he ended up stopping his dribble and had to pass out to another player. Then, the same player received the ball at the top of the key, Richards was still guarding him and the player took a contested 3-pointer that had no chance of going in.
Here is Richards’ state line Tuesday: 3:14 minutes, 0 points, 0-of-2 shooting, two rebounds, one personal foul and one turnover. From the three minutes that I watched Richards, he actually didn't show a defensive weakness in the short amount of time. With the Spurs still trying to assess players through the limited Summer League schedule, one has to wonder if Richards will get his chance to show he can play at the NBA level? With 11 minutes on Sunday, we saw both the good and the bad of Richards being a raw prospect, but it left you in anticipation of wanting to see more.
From what I've seen two games in, I think I’m pretty comfortable that Ajinca and Luke Zeller are both who they've shown to be. Ajinca lacks the speed and reaction, while Zeller seems like a 3-point shooting big man who doesn't look to have any sort of post game in his arsenal.
Will Richards get more minutes on Wednesday against the Los Angeles Clippers? That question will remain a mystery until tip-off.
Just remember that this is summer lg..Players are trying to impress all these teams/coaches etc., and since obviously the smalls will be starting the offense, I foresee more than a bit of selfish play from smalls,and not as much big/post play. Most of the bigs will be left trying to impress by putbacks, rebounds, a transition O play (not ajinca lol) rarely, etc. Nature of the beast..best hope is that coach will DEMAND running plays for bigs at some point imo. And frankly given that Spurs needs seem to be MORE Bigs than smalls, they should definitely be getting the ball down low more. On the other hand, Im more inclined to believe Spurs pretty much ALREADY know theres no bigs there that are likely to win a coveted roster spot (only 1 left), so they are just letting players play..Then again I could be mistaken/overthinking it.. ;)
Intriguing cheap big man came on the market today... the Rockets released Leuer and Jordan to make room for Asik. While Leuer is just a Bonner clone... Jerome Jordan is a 2nd year player from Jamaica, 7', 240 lb. Wingspan of 7'6". He has more agility than you'd typically see with a big man his size, good rebounder, blocks shots, and good shooting %. He has some post moves as well. However, he's got another one of those laid back/island personalities and has been branded as too passive. Who better than TD to bring the beast out to play? JJ is much more fundamentally sound and farther along than Richards, mobile and physically imposing. Last year was his rookie year... he could have a great future in SA. Sounds like a good fit for our backup big man on a budget.
They need to give him more minutes! he has so much more potential than zeller or ajinca. He has legit size and is very skilled. Its hard to find any sort of rythmn when you are thrown into a game in the 3rd quarter for 2 or 3 mins like he has been so far. Get him like 20 or 30 minutes the dude will produce.
RR got 16 mins, shot 1-3 with 2 points, 3 rebounds, 2 turnovers, his +/- was 0..ya he has hustle, but looks very lost in the offense.
I sure hope RR gets more playing time against Clips, his first game was sub-par, last night was worse. He needs to show something if he wants to get a shot at the Toros... At least he is hustling, but he needs to stop making the other team's bigs look good.
@imwithstupid They just need to have a bigger sample size on what Richards can do or not. We know what the other bigs bring, why not run RR 30 min out there? This is a guy that does not know the system, has played little BB in the past year but oozes with potential and they decide to play him 3 minutes in SUMMER LEAGUE?
Are you F'ing kidding me? He is the only guy other than KL or maybe CJ that would have a chance at being really good. Summer League does not win you championships, there is little money associated with it, there are no real playoffs on the line, and we were playing the Lakers who just got trounced by the Heat by 50.
Put RR out there and let the kid play. 3 minutes?