Originally written on Project Spurs  |  Last updated 7/15/12

LAS VEGAS - Game one of the San Antonio Spurs 2012 Summer League is in the books and it was a very succesful debut for a couple of players entering their sophomore seasons.  Going in to Summer League, we knew Kawhi Leonard would be the focal point of the offense, and while it took him a little while to get going, he did not disappoint.  The Spurs other Soph, Cory Joseph came in to Summer League hoping to show he can be a reliable back up to Tony Parker.  One game in he also showed a knack for running a team.

A few house keeping items to start off with.  The Spurs won 82-76.  After a really flat first quarter, the Spurs led for most of the final three quarters.  The offense that was run was a paired down version of what's run during the regular season.  In fact, it's probably almost exactly what Joseph ran in Austin for half of last season.  The first quarter was shaky but Joseph was incredibly aggressive.  Joseph finished with 18 points and four assists and showed a much improved jump shot.  Summer League Head Coach Jacques Vaughn said he was very pleased with how everyone played considering it was game one and signled out Leonard and Joseph specifically.

“I think a few guys played really well. I think we competed which is great in Summer League basketball," Vaughn said. "Cory and Kawhi really stepped up and played well.”

Kawhi Leonard's first quarter trying to create his own shot didn't work out so well.  He was aggressive, but that led to a couple of blocked shots on jumpers, but also led to a really nice layup in traffic and several trips to the free throw line.  Leonard seemed to get comfortable after that, doing his best not to settle for jumpers.  By the time the fourt quarter rolled around, Vaughn moved him to the primary ball handler in the pick and roll and Leonard continued to attack the basket.  Midway through the fourth, Leonard did had a crossover that led to a three point play, followed by a pull up jumper off a screen, followed by a pick and pop where he fed Eric Dawson for a score.  He finished with 23 points and 3 assists.

“The time to test drive a little bit which was fun," Vaughn said. Get him out there and put him in positions that he normally for us doesn’t get a chance to be in so pick and roll, posting up a little bit so see if we can see a little glow.”

Leonard said he's been working on creating off the dribble all summer, adding that he wants be more than role player for the Spurs moving forward.

“I don’t want to be standing in the corner guy my whole career. You know I like to take control of the game and just be a focal point to my team winning.”

A few other notes:

- San Antonio native Eric Dawson finished with 10 points and 13 rebounds.  I'm not sure he has the size or mobility to ever be a consistent role player in the NBA, but he always seems to be in the right place at the right time.

- Ryan Richards got some extended run in the second half, showing some promise and a lot of raw ability (emphasis on the raw).  He finised with just two points and two rebounds, but he was aggressive the whole time he was in.  His athleticism showed when he came out to defend a pick and roll, forcing a traveling call.  The next time down the court, Richards got the ball at the free throw line, made a quick move and got fouled in the act of shooting.  Vaughn said he liked what he saw out of Richards, but that he's very much a work in progress.

“I think Ryan needs to just continue to get better at all aspects of the game.  He was physical out there on both ends of the floor," Vaughn said. "I think for a big, for us, it’s just being in the right place at the right time. Good screens, rebounding, real fundamental, doesn’t get too complicated with us.”

The Spurs next play Tuesday vs. the Lakers at 5:30 central time.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Jason Kidd to be named general manager of Bucks

USWNT romps Japan 5-2 to win third Women's World Cup title

Report: JPP 'severely injured' hand in fireworks mishap

Blatter: European politicians helped Qatar land World Cup

Report: Cavs considering trading for Joe Johnson

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Andrew Quarless found hiding in plant after firing gun

Odell Beckham: I don't want to be known only for 'the catch'

Borland on retirement: Health 'more important' than money

Three NBA teams that improved most early in offseason

Adam Eaton gets 4th of July surprise from brother

Clippers in talks with JaVale McGee, Amar’e Stoudemire

2015 All-Star starters announced, featuring four Royals

WATCH: Jake Marisnick makes fantastic running catch

WATCH: Carlos Gomez leaves gum, note for Billy Hamilton

Kansas to wear new USA jerseys after request from FIBA

What can the Saints expect from CJ Spiller in 2015?

Isaiah Thomas trolls Kings after Rajon Rondo signing

Kosta Koufos agrees to deal with Kings

Report: Blues in trade talks about Kevin Shattenirk

Report: Gregg Popovich plans to fulfill five-year contract

4-Star LB commits to Kentucky, zings Louisville

Clay Buchholz not worried about trade rumors

All hope isn't completely lost for this year's Milwaukee Brewers

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

2015 All-Star starters announced

JPP injured in fireworks mishap?

Odell Beckham doesn't want to be known for 'the catch'

Russell Wilson 'would definitely consider' playing for Mariners

Solo, Rapinoe among USWNT stars up for World Cup awards

LBS on Sports Jeopardy! Here's how how it went

College football's 35 most patriotic helmets

A brief history of non-star All-Stars

With Love retained, the Cavs can take care of LeBron

Grading the deal: Davis commits to Pelicans

Obama Administration: Change name if Redskins move to D.C.

Deciding what the All-Star Game means

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.