LAS VEGAS -- The San Antonio Spurs fell to the Toronto Raptors Sunday night, 82-76. It may not sound like a big deal, because it's one loss after all, it's only Summer League. And while "it's only Summer League" is a well used phrase when grading the merits of a certain player, that phrase doesn't apply to the attitude players and coaches have when it comes to winning and losing games.
That goes doubly for a Spurs organization accustomed to winning. Despite the fact that the Summer League Spurs showed fight, shrinking a fourth quarter lead from 10 down to two in the final seconds of the game, head coach Ime Udoka said his team needed to be better on defense and play tougher than their opponents.
""We got out toughed. They were the more aggressive team and we didn’t really meet their physicality, especially to start the third quarter," Udoka said. "We battled back in the first half, it went back and forth but we came out in the third quarter very flat. They upped their pressure and we didn’t respond."
Cory Joseph and Deshaun Thomas led the Spurs with 16 points. Joseph continued to be aggressive attacking them rim and he had more rhythm on his jump shot. Udoka said he thought Joseph played well, but wanted to see him be more vocal on the court, especially when it comes to getting the new players in the right spots on offense.
"He can definitely be better," Udoka said. "We need him to be more vocal in his role and up the pressure especially and respond better when we’re getting down in those ruts."
Thomas continued to show he knows how to score, and in different ways. Summer League game two saw Thomas being very aggressive on the glass. He grabbed eight rebounds, including three offensive, two of which he converted in to second chance points. He also added two three-pointers as well as several mid-range jumpers. While he spent most of the time playing the small ball power forward, Udoka said we can expect to see more of him playing the small forward position this week. The Spurs next game is Monday night against the Atlanta Hawks. Tip-off is set for 9 PM. central time and will be shown live on NBA TV.
Corey Joseph is willing to leap from the D-League to the NBA and back because he understands that being on the end of the bench won’t get him any closer towards his goals. I see Nando being traded/cut or returning back to the Euro League because I don’t see him getting any minutes in the upcoming season.
Nando rejecting the idea of D-League article:
Cory Joseph NOT rejecting the idea of D-League article